Trade Show Sale Prices Creep Upward

The mergers and acquisitions market for trade shows slowed in 2013, but prices are creeping back up from the low points hit during the recession, according to a recent report from Corporate Solutions, an M&A advisory firm specializing in the events sector.

Compared to 25 deals in 2012, a total of 19 deals closed last year with an average valuation multiple of 6.5 times EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization—a popular valuation metric), the report says. The largest deal of the year—Onex Corporation’s $950-million acquisition of Nielsen Exhibitions—closed at 9.5-times EBITDA.

See Also: Emerald Deal Tops 2013 M&A Activity

Purchases that large and those carried out by financial buyers are aberrations though, according to Corporate Solutions.

“Similar to the last five years, virtually all of the activity in today’s M&A market revolves around strategic buyers looking for opportunities to acquire smaller competitors in similar markets with bolt-on acquisitions,” the report reads. “Buyers are continuing to stay within the industries that are familiar to them.”

Look for prices to continue the slow recovery in 2014.

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Posted by Michael Rondon

Michael Rondon is a senior editor for Expo. Reach him @Mike_Rondon or View all articles by Michael Rondon →