UBM plc has acquired the Content Marketing Institute (CMI) for $17.6 million, subject to the meeting of profit targets over the next two years, the global marketing services and self-proclaimed "events-first" B2B media company announced today.
CMI's assets include Content Marketing World, an annual event held in Cleveland each September, as well as a series of other conferences. The company's event business earned between $6 and $9 million last year, according to UBM, with about an additional $3 million from "other marketing services."
"Our 'events-first' strategy focuses on improving the quality of UBM's portfolio and Content Marketing World, as the leading event in this high-growth sector, enhances our portfolio and strengthens our leading position in the U.S. events industry," said UBM CEO Tom Cobbold in a statement.
It's the second acquisition in just over a month for UBM, who in late April purchased Business Journals Inc., producers of a number of notable fashion shows across the U.S., for $69 million. Former Rodale president Scott Schulman came on board as CEO of UBM's Americas division earlier in April, tasked with further implementing the "events-first" strategy that has the conference and trade show business driving the majority of UBM's revenues. The company sold PR Newswire to Cision late last year in a blockbuster deal worth $841 million.
"Even though we always imagined selling the business at some point, this was an incredibly difficult decision. We would never decide to sell the business if our vision would be compromised in any way," wrote CMI founder Joe Pulizzi in a note on the company's website. "One of the reasons UBM decided to make this purchase is because of the passion of the CMI team and the community. Continuing that is critical to our ongoing success."
Pulizzi notes that there will be no changes to the CMI team, and that the company will become a part of UBM's technology events group.