Property: Hunting Expos
Buyer: Bonnier Corp.
Seller: Target Communications
Date: December 2011
Bonnier Corporation, publisher of magazines including Field & Stream and Outdoor Life, purchased four hunting expos from Mequon, Wisconsin-based Target Communications for an undisclosed sum. The company plans to rebrand the events the Field & Stream Deer & Turkey Expo and will continue to run the shows four times a year—in Michigan, Ohio, Illinois and Wisconsin respectively—with the expos’ current staff, who have joined Bonnier as a result of the deal.
The events attract an average of 350 exhibitors and 10,000-20,000 attendees on 120,000-150,000 square feet, according to Nick Curci, president of Westport, Connecticut-based Corporate Solutions, the firm that advised Target Communications in the deal. According to Eric Zinczenko, vice president and group publisher of Bonnier’s Outdoor Group, “it is not unconceivable” that the company will add more cities to the show’s current lineup in a year or two.
Bonnier expects this franchise to offer “a significant source of revenue,” Zinczenko told Folio: at the time of the deal. “Our strategy going forward is to aggregate as much audience as we can regardless of format,” he said, adding that the acquisition allows Bonnier’s Outdoor Group “to offer a higher level of integration for our client base by bundling these expos with our other media offerings.”
The events will be produced by Bonnier’s Events and Entertainment group, which currently runs the Warren Miller film tour and the Professional Wakeboard Tour.
Live events have not traditionally been a staple of consumer publishers, a characteristic totally unlike b-to-b publishers that count events as a major and lucrative revenue source. Here Bonnier is taking a page out of the b-to-b playbook by tacking on live event brands that compliment the Field & Stream brand well.
This deal is a clear bolt-on for Bonnier, giving an instant group of event brands attached to its outdoor group.