UK events organiser on the market
According to a report in the Sunday Times, the directors of FC, as it is known in the industry, have appointed Clarity, the corporate finance boutique, to carry out a strategic review and examine the possibility of a trade sale.
The company was set up 28 years ago by Guy Grant with a focus on emerging markets. Grant still remains chairman of the company with a sizeable stake.
Since then the business has grown organically in influence and size. The London-based business regularly bills £25m of annual revenue and runs around 200 events across the world. Although the bulk of its earnings comes from conferences, the company is seeing seeing rapid growth in subscription services, publishing activities and bespoke research consultancy.
However many of its larger competitors have been growing even faster through acquisitions and takeovers, in an industry which has experienced heavy consolidation of late. Ascential (formerly EMAP) is in the throws of selling its event and exhibitions business for £300m. Earlier this year Informa announced a merger with UBM, creating a listed £9bn events giant. Clarion Events just announced its £210m acquisition of US events business PennWell.
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