ITE Group, whose event portfolio includes the Moda, Scoop and Jacket Required fashion trade shows, has agreed a deal with Ascential Plc to buy its events business, which includes Pure London, for £300m.
Ascential, whose other business interests also include trend forecaster WGSN, Cannes Lions, Retail Week and the World Retail Congress, announced in February that it was considering a sale of its events and exhibitions division, Ascential Exhibitions, which also includes the Spring and Autumn Fairs and other sizeable B2B shows.
Speculation naturally fell on ITE as a potential purchaser of the business in particular because its CEO Mark Shashoua was once CEO of Ascential Events (formerly known as i2i Events).
ITE has been rationalising its interests in the fashion space lately, having recently announced the closure of kidswear trade show Bubble along with the discontinuation of its fashion trade magazines Womenswear Buyer, Menswear Buyer and Childrenswear Buyer. The addition of Pure London to its line-up gives it control of the UK’s most significant fashion trade shows.
In the financial year ended 31 December 2017, the Ascential Exhibitions business generated revenues of £82.9m (or, adjusting for discontinued and sold events, £78.5m) and an adjusted EBITDA of £23.3m. Ascential CEO Duncan Painter said the business had been found “a good home”.
“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,” Painter said.