Advanstar Deal Closes
VSS takes over with $1.14 billion purchase.
Advanstar Communications announced today that its $1.14 billion sale to private equity firm Veronis Suhler Stevenson is complete. First announced in March, the deal represents VSS’ largest publishing investment to date.
The deal includes Advanstar’s 60 publications and directories, 95 electronic publications and Web sites, and 47 regional and international trade shows and events. Advanstar’s most recent owner, DLJ Merchant Banking Partners III LP, purchased the company in 2000 for $900 million plus assumption of $520 million in debt.
In the first quarter of 2007, Advanstar reported revenue of $110.7 million, up 3.8 percent from $106.6 million in the first quarter of 2006. Net income rose 64 percent to $24.8 million.
DLJ had put Advanstar up for auction in July 2005 and was hotly pursued by Blantyre Partners, a company formed by former Advanstar CEO Robert Krakoff with backing from private equity firm Blackstone Capital Partners. That deal fell through because of a high asking price and a debt-financing penalty.
Trade Shows, Fashion Drive Revenue
Advanstar’s products fall into three categories: fashion, life sciences and power sports;a largely enthusiast group. In the first quarter of 2007, fashion and licensing accounted for 48 percent of Advanstar’s overall revenue, followed by life sciences at 30 percent, powersports and automotive at 20 percent, and 2 percent coming from "other."
A source familiar with the deal told Folio: that VSS is most interested with Advanstar’s trade shows. "It has some of the largest and most sustainable trade show assets in the world. The company also has good growth margins, a good management team and much better organic growth rates than most b-to-b companies and a strong cash flow."