Acquiring George Little Management LLC (GLM) from Providence Equity Partners for $335 million is Emerald Expositions, Inc., an operator of business-to-business tradeshows. The monetary amount of the deal is subject to adjustments at, and after, closing.
“GLM is a truly outstanding tradeshow company with an exciting portfolio and an experienced and talented workforce,” said David Loechner, CEO, Emerald. “This acquisition expands upon our position as a leading tradeshow organizer in the [U.S.] I am excited about the opportunities for customers and employees of both companies that will result from bringing these two high-quality portfolios together.”
GLM creates face-to-face buying, selling and networking platforms for designers, product developers, manufacturers, retailers and operators through more than 20 leading tradeshows, including four of the largest 100 tradeshows in the U.S.
The company’s tradeshows serve industries as diverse as home furnishings, home textiles, stationery and paper products, giftware, tabletop, gourmet housewares, contemporary furniture and interiors, personal care, art and design, antiques and jewelry, fashion, board sports and resort lifestyle, and e-commerce. GLM has approximately 130 employees and operates out of six U.S. offices.
“This transaction demonstrates the strength of GLM’s shows that have grown successfully thanks to the effectiveness of the GLM team and Providence’s support,” said Charles McCurdy, CEO, GLM. “This is a compelling opportunity going forward for GLM and its stakeholders, and I wish David Loechner and his team the best of luck as they seek to further expand GLM’s product offerings and accelerate growth.”
Anticipated to close in January 2014, the transaction is subject to customary regulatory approvals. The acquisition will be funded with approximately $200 million of debt and a $140 million equity investment from Onex Partners III. Emerald was acquired by Onex Partners III in June 2013.
“Charlie’s leadership and the dedication of the entire management team were integral to the success of this investment,” said Michael Dominguez, managing director, Providence. “We’re fortunate to have had the opportunity to partner with GLM to accelerate growth, launch new products and make acquisitions that increased the breadth of its shows. We believe GLM has a bright future as part of Emerald Expositions.”
BofA Merrill Lynch is serving as lead financial advisor; Morgan Stanley & Co. LLC is serving as financial advisor; and Fried Frank is serving as legal advisor to Emerald. Credit Suisse is serving as financial advisor, and Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP is serving as legal advisor to GLM for the transaction. Latham & Watkins LLP is serving as legal advisor to the financing sources for Emerald on the transaction.