UBM is now the largest events organizer in the U.S. after agreeing to purchase Advanstar for $972 million.
Advanstar, producer of more than 150 events and 30 publications, had been on the block since early this summer, while news of discussions with UBM first broke in mid-September.
The deal is expected to close by year’s end. Advanstar CEO Joe Loggia will stay on for "a transitional period post-close," according to a company statement.
With a $972-million price tag, the deal is for more than 10-times Advanstar’s reported earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) of $95 million. Nielsen Exhibitions, an events producer and publisher with $97 million EBITDA, sold for $950 million last spring.
MAGIC Marketplace, the centerpiece of Advanstar’s fashion portfolio, is the largest individual property involved in the transaction. The biannual shows draw more than 65,000 attendees and 4,300 exhibitors to Las Vegas each spring and fall. Advanstar also has properties in licensing, life sciences and powersports.
The move also brings around 30 print publications and 200 websites to UBM. How those will fit into UBM’s plans is unclear though—the company killed print and reorganized content operations for its U.S.-based UBM Tech division last year, resulting in as many as 300 layoffs.
UBM says Advanstar’s print products are profitable in a statement, but a spokesperson says while no decisions have been made, the company plans to manage an ongoing transition to digital platforms.