Today, Providence Equity Partners announced a merger under which it will acquire trade show management company George Little Management (GLM) for approximately $173 million in cash. Earlier this summer, Daily Mail and General Trust plc announced it was seeking a buyer for GLM in the $240 million range.
GLM currently produces 15 tradeshows, including ICFF and NYIGF, serving industries from giftware to home furnishings, textiles, tabletop, gourmet housewares, contemporary furniture, art & design, antique jewelry, and more. Annually, these events showcase approximately 11,000 exhibitors in 1.8 million net square feet of exhibit space, and attract approximately 150,000 attendees.
“GLM has a proven track record in exceeding the expectations of exhibitors and attendees with high-quality, customer-focused events,” stated Michael J. Dominguez, a Managing Director at Providence. “We believe there are significant opportunities to grow GLM’s tradeshow brands in the U.S. and internationally both organically and through acquisition, as well as to develop exciting new digital and data services. The company already has a talented senior management team."
Providence will purchase GLM through a new holding company led by Charles G. McCurdy, who most recently served as Chief Executive Officer of Canon Communications, a leading producer of trade shows, publications, and digital and data services. In five years under Mr. McCurdy’s management, Canon doubled in size, expanding its trade shows into 10 countries and developing a significant suite of digital and data services.
Mr. McCurdy said, “I’m thrilled to partner with Providence as it acquires this top tier, world-class company. GLM’s presence in the growing business-to-retailer space has few rivals in the international tradeshow industry. With the help of Providence and the dedicated GLM team, we will seek to take GLM to the next level while identifying additional opportunities to expand our platform in the dynamic tradeshow space.”
Alan E. Steel, President of GLM, commented, “This is a compelling transaction that will allow GLM to benefit from the additional resources and expertise provided by Providence as we seek to further expand our product offerings and accelerate growth. We look forward to working with Charlie and Providence in the future.”
The transaction, which is subject to customary closing conditions and regulatory approvals, is expected to close by the end of September 2011.