Staff Reporters
Feb 28, 2018

Ascential mulls sale of exhibitions business

The review includes a stable of European shows, but not the Cannes Lions festival.

Pure London fashion exhibition
Pure London fashion exhibition

Global B2B events and information company Ascential has announced a strategic review of its exhibitions business, which reportedly could lead to a £300 million (US$417 million) sale.

The company's exhibitions division includes major European industry, lifestyle, fashion and entertainment shows Spring and Autumn Fair, Bett, CWIEME, Pure, Glee and BVE.

This review will not, however, include Ascential’s festivals and awards business, namely Cannes Lions, the premier global event for the creative and marketing-communications industry. Nor will it involve the recently expanded Money 20/20 financial technology forum, which includes events in Singapore and Hangzhou this year.

Ascential announced the move in its year-end financial statement, where it reported a 6.4% rise in revenue from ongoing operations in 2017 and a 39% jump in operating profit, to £44.5 million (US$61.9 milion).

Chief executive Duncan Painter noted in a statement that the exhibitions-business review was linked to Ascential’s increasing focus on serving the digital industry. 

“As we look to 2018 and beyond we will build upon our reputation for enabling customers to succeed in the digital economy in the areas of product design, marketing and sales. We will continue to critically assess the potential of our brands to support these goals and where to allocate capital,” Painter said. “The strategic review of our exhibitions business that we announce today is one such exercise.


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