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Events firm Hyve to sell Russian business in wake of Ukraine war

Tom Shearsmith
06 April 2022

Events giant Hyve Group has agreed a deal to sell its Russian business to Rise Expo in a deal worth up to £72 million.

Shares in the London-listed firm, which rebranded from ITE in 2019, moved higher as it also reported a rebound in revenues driven by the relaxation of pandemic restrictions in western markets.

The exhibition operator said last month that it put its Russian business up for sale due to the invasion of Ukraine, after the company had come under pressure from shareholders and customers.

Hyve said on Wednesday that some customers had indicated they would boycott the company’s western events if they failed to pull out of Russia.

“The board believes that the disposal achieves Hyve’s objective of exiting the Russian market in a prompt manner with the prospect of value being returned to the company, while offering an outcome which provides some assurance and stability for those affected, including the staff of the Russian business,” it said.

The group said it would have had to wind down the Russian operation had a suitable sale not been sealed.

Hyve also told shareholders it delivered revenues of £58 million over the six months to March 31, excluding revenues of £17 million from its Russian business. It said this compared with £5 million in revenues excluding Russia over the same period a year earlier as it was heavily impacted by COVID-19.

The group reported forward bookings for the full year of £103 million, excluding Russian and Ukrainian events. It said this reflects an improvement driven by pent-up demand for in-person events despite continued pandemic disruption in some regions.

Mark Shashoua, Chief Executive Officer of Hyve, said: “I am delighted to see Hyve return to a schedule of events comparable to pre-pandemic levels and I am highly encouraged by the pent-up demand we continue to see among our customer communities. Shoptalk in particular has seen an incredible recovery and significantly outperformed the 2019 edition.”

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