Informa Purchases Several Boat Shows from Active Interest Media
Skip Zimbalist retires, but will remain with AIM as non-exec chairman; exhibitions are now Informa's "largest division by revenue and profit."
London-based Informa plc has acquired boat show producer Show Management from Active Interest Media, the two companies announced today, in a deal valued at $133 million, according to Informa.
First acquired by AIM in 2006, Show Management produces a series of Florida-based boat shows, including the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show, a week-long event attracting 100,000 attendees, 1,300 exhibitors, and 1,200 boats each November, according to Informa. Other shows included in the sale are Yachts Miami Beach, the Palm Beach International Boat Show, the St. Petersburg Power & Sailboat Show, and the Suncoast Boat Show in Sarasota.
"With this acquisition, Informa Exhibitions becomes the world's leading yacht show organizer," said Charlie McCurdy, CEO of Informa's exhibitions division, in a prepared statement. "Informa Exhibitions is now Informa plc's largest division by revenue and profit."
It appears that the arms race is on between two London-based B2B publishers-turned-events giants, as both UBM and Informa have spent the past few years aggressively investing in trade show and conference businesses all over the world, and particularly in North America.
McCurdy adds that he expects to target further acquisitions growing forward in "key and growing verticals." The purchase follows a relatively quiet five-month period for Informa, which snapped up both Light Reading and Penton in August and September, respectively, the latter deal valued at $1.56 billion.
Skip Zimbalist to retire
Concurrent with the sale, Efrem "Skip" Zimbalist III will retire as CEO of Show Management, AIM has revealed. Zimbalist, who co-founded Active Interest Media with CEO Andy Clurman in 2003, will remain with the company as its non-executive chairman of the board.
"While my role at AIM will change, my passion for the company, its employees, and its industry partners will not," said Zimbalist in a statement. "With this new change, I look forward to spending more time with my wonderful wife Paula, my four children, four grandchildren, and cruising the ocean."
Zimbalist, who had served as AIM's executive chairman up until today's announcement, added that the sale of Show Management provided a logical opening to transfer executive responsibilities to Clurman.
“Over the many years we have spent first building Times Mirror Magazines and later Active Interest Media, Skip has been an extraordinary mentor, partner, and friend,” added Clurman. “His passion for growing businesses and the communities they serve remain at the core of our purpose and our success. I’m grateful Skip will remain on our Board and participate in AIM’s next phase.”