A year after its sale to private equity firm MidOcean Partners, Questex’s path forward continues to take shape.
The global B2B media and events firm revealed Tuesday that it has acquired a handful of events and digital brands from Informa plc—a move that CEO Paul Miller says aligns with the company’s strategic focus on “the experience economy.”
Among the properties changing hands are Live Design and the annual LDI trade show, which serves lighting and sound professionals; Club Industry and the annual Club Industry Show, which serves health and fitness facility managers; and the annual, three-day World Tea Expo as well as the digital brand World Tea News.
“For the past 12 months, Questex has been working with the communities that we serve and it is clear that our brands advance businesses that help people live longer and live better,” Miller—a former Informa and Penton exec who was hired as CEO of Questex last September after the company’s sale to MidOcean—tells Folio: via email. “The Experience Economy is one that we sit squarely in the middle of and the recently acquired assets enhance that position.”
Questex declined to the share terms of the acquisition or whether the company took on any additional funding.
In a news release, Miller added that “the customer experience has taken over from price and product features as the key brand differentiator,” and that “as businesses compete for the attention of customers, experiences become a unique selling point.”
Miller says the existing teams will remain in place at the Live Design, Club Industry and World Tea properties post-acquisition, but that the other assets included in the sale—XLive, which serves live event professionals and has a pair of annual conferences, and the WFX Network, which comprises the annual WFX Conference and the bimonthly Worship Facilities magazine—will be subject to a strategic review.
The news comes less than a month Informa offloaded more than 20 trade magazines to Endeavor Business Media, and less than a year after Informa sold its life sciences brands to MJH Associates for approximately $100 million.
As with the Endeavor sale last month, most of the properties being sold to Questex this week are former Penton brands absorbed by Informa after those two companies merged in 2016.
Prior to Questex, Miller was president of Informa Intelligence’s industry and infrastructure brands, and had been president of Penton’s Industry Group brands prior to the Penton/Informa merger. Among Miller’s first moves at Questex was hiring CMO Kate Spellman, who had been president of Informa’s marketing services division and was previously CMO at Penton.
In October, the company hired Patrick Nohilly, formerly of Messe Frankfurt North America, as its new CFO.
“We are highly acquisitive and now with Pat on board we have the ability to bolster our organic growth through M&A to add scale, capabilities and resources,” said Miller at the time.
⇒ Further reading: With New Leadership, Questex Rethinks Its Path to Success [April, 2019]