Trade Days image

CloserStill Media, the organiser of healthcare events such as Trade Days, The OT Show and Health+Care, has been bought by Providence Equity Partners, acquiring a majority stake from the company’s management, as well as private equity firms Inflexion and NVM.

Despite financial terms not being disclosed for the deal, reports estimate that the investment was in the region of £340million for one of the world’s leading trade show and event organisers.

Having ranked in the top 100 of the Sunday Times International Track 200 in 2016, 2017 and 2018, as well as being listed in the Financial Times FT1000 Index as the fastest growing exhibitions organiser and one of the fastest growing companies in Europe in 2017, CloserStill has enjoyed considerable growth in recent years.

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Following the sale, Phil Soar and Phil Nelson, co-founders of CloserStill, as well as the broader management team, will remain major shareholders alongside Providence.

Discussing the decision to purchase CloserStill, Andrew Tisdale, Managing Director at Providence, said: “CloserStill is an exceptional business led by a strong management team with a proven track record of developing and acquiring successful events around the world. With a compelling global portfolio and diverse customer base across the technology, learning and healthcare sectors, CloserStill is well-positioned to accelerate the momentum the business has generated to date. We are excited to partner with such a fantastic team and look forward to working together.”

Founded in 2008, CloserStill’s exhibition portfolio has grown significantly in the little over 10 years it has business, largely driven through its acquisitive growth strategy, having completed 11 acquisitions in the last three years, including acquiring the Care Show from UBM towards the end of 2017.

Alongside its acquisitions, the events company has also launched a number of flagship events domestically and increasingly internationally, with a global network of offices in London, Paris, New York, California, Berlin, Singapore and Hong Kong.

According to Inflexion, CloserStill’s portfolio of exhibitions grew by just under 50 percent in the last three years and its proportion of international revenues grew from 20 percent to 50 percent.

In 2013, the trade event specialists launched Trade Days, the first exhibition dedicated exclusively to the mobility-trade, providing a forum for suppliers and retailers to come together and talk business openly.

Philip Soar, Chairman & CEO of CloserStill, said: “Over the past ten years we have worked diligently to develop a best-in-class team that has driven our remarkable growth. Our business has also benefited from the expertise provided by Inflexion and NVM and we appreciate their significant contributions in the last three years. CloserStill now has a roster of the best attended and largest events focused on the high-value technology and healthcare sectors globally. We are excited to partner with Providence, who we have known for some time, and who have extensive experience in our industry and a superb track record in supporting growth businesses.”

Phil Nelson, Commercial Director and co-founder of CloserStill, said: “Since founding the business in 2008, we have been fortunate to expand within our attractive sector verticals and I am thrilled with the results made possible by the dedication and creativity of our colleagues. I really look forward to the next chapter of our growth.”

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