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ITE moves to acquire Ascential Events in huge deal

Organiser ITE Group has released its interim results and proposed the acquisition of seven event brands from Ascential Events Ltd for £300m.

Among the events included in the deal will include Spring Fair, Autumn Fair and education event BETT.

The announcement comes as ITE Group releases its interim results, showing the group’s revenues grew at eight per cent on a like-for-like basis, driven by its Transformation and Growth (TAG) programme. For the six months to 31 March 2018 revenue for the group was £75.4m.

Mark Shashoua, CEO of ITE Group plc, commented: “Today we have announced the proposed acquisition of seven highly complementary market leading events from Ascential plc. These events are well known to us, the acquisition is in line with our product-led acquisition strategy and gives us the benefit of a more balanced portfolio by geography and product. It also adds two more global brands in BETT and CWIEME and is expected to be earnings enhancing in 2019, our first full financial year of ownership.

“As a result of our focus on forward bookings we have good visibility into this year and next with revenues booked for 2018 at 89 per cent of consensus for the full year and, on a like-for-like basis, bookings for 2019 are up 31 per cent at £31.0m. The combination of good progress on TAG and the proposed acquisition of Ascential Events Limited represent the significant steps for ITE in realising its vision of creating the world’s leading portfolio of content-driven, must-attend events that deliver an outstanding experience and ROI for our customers.”

Duncan Painter, chief executive officer of Ascential, added: “The strategic review of the exhibitions business was undertaken to ensure that we prioritise our time and capital on enabling our customers to succeed in the digital economy.  We are therefore pleased to have found a good home and achieved a fair price for the exhibitions business.

“Winning in the digital economy is one of the biggest challenges our customers face and we want to ensure we are at the forefront of helping them achieve this.”