U.K. media company UBM PLC has agreed to purchase Advanstar Communications for a reported $972 million. The following is from a press release.


Advanstar Communications Inc., parent of Dealernews, Dealer Expo and the Progressive International Motorcycle Shows, announced it will be acquired by UBM plc for approximately $972 million.

Advanstar is a leading media company providing integrated marketing solutions for the Fashion, Licensing and Life Sciences industries, in addition to Powersports. Advanstar is currently owned by an investor group that includes Anchorage Capital Group LLC, Veronis Suhler Stevenson, and funds managed by the Tradable Credit Group at Ares Management LP.

“The transaction will combine Advanstar — one of the largest and most respected operators of U.S. trade shows — with UBM’s worldwide platform to create the largest events business in the U.S., and maintain Advanstar as the No. 1 player in U.S. fashion industry events,” the company announced. “The combined company will have a best-in-class portfolio of products and services” that include the MAGIC Marketplace, the largest apparel marketplace in the world for fashion buyers and brands; a New York-based Fashion suite of events that includes 16 different exhibitions; UBM’s Game Developers Conference, the world’s largest and longest running professionals-only game industry event; CPhl Worldwide, the world’s leading pharmaceutical ingredients event; and other properties in the automotive, powersports, healthcare and licensing industries.

UBM also currently owns PRNewswire.

“We are extremely pleased to join such a dynamic organization and bring together our complementary businesses, talented teams and customer-focused cultures,” said Advanstar CEO Joe Loggia, who is staying on for a transitional period. “UBM’s interest in Advanstar reflects the success of our strategy and quality of our industry-leading products. With greater scale across key international geographies, the combined company will be strongly positioned to continue expanding into dynamic, vertical markets.”

Tim Cobbold, UBM’s CEO, said, “This is a great acquisition for UBM and its shareholders… it strengthens UBM’s core events business while balancing and complementing UBM’s strong events portfolio in emerging markets. UBM will become the largest events organizer in the U.S. — the biggest events market in the world.”

The transaction is subject to approval by UBM shareholders and subject to regulatory and closing conditions, and is expected to close by year end, Advanstar stated.