UBM may be on the verge of acquiring Advanstar for close to $900 million with an announcement coming as early as this week according to a recent Reuters report.
UBM acknowledged that it’s in discussions for the property, but wouldn’t say whether a deal is imminent or what the potential price could be. News of a potential Advanstar sale broke in July.
Penton was also among several other interested bidders, according to the report.
With earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) said to be around $95 million, a $900-million price tag—or 9.5-times EBITDA—makes sense. Nielsen Exhibitions, a company with similar size and scope, sold for 9.5-times EBITDA—a $950 million sale price on $97 million EBITDA—last spring.
Advanstar’s largest properties are its tradeshows, led by MAGIC Marketplace, the largest fashion event in the U.S. Overall, the company produces more than 150 events and 30 publications in various B2B markets, including fashion, motorsports and healthcare.
Exactly how Advanstar would fit into UBM’s portfolio is unclear at the moment. While Advanstar’s events-led approach is in line with UBM’s philosophy, the deal would bring UBM into several new markets.
The company has gone through several major leadership changes in recent months as well, installing Tim Cobbold as its CEO in February, and merging its Americas operations earlier this month, with Sally Shankland named head of the group.