George Little Management (GLM) and Providence Equity Partners have signed a definitive merger agreement under which affiliates of Providence will acquire GLM from Daily Mail and General Trust plc (LSE: DMGT.L) for approximately USD173 million in cash.
GLM creates face-to-face and online buying, selling and networking platforms for designers, product developers, manufacturers, reps, retailers and operators through tradeshow and event production, online community development and association management. GLM currently produces 15 tradeshows, serving industries as diverse as giftware, home furnishings, social stationery, home textiles, tabletop, gourmet housewares, contemporary furniture, personal care, art & design, antique jewellry, beach, board sports, fashion and hospitality. Annually, these events showcase approximately 11,000 exhibitors in 1.8 million net square feet of exhibit space, and attract approximately 150,000 attendees.
Providence will purchase GLM through a new holding company led by Charles G McCurdy (pictured), who most recently served as Chief Executive Officer of Canon Communications, a leading producer of trade shows, publications, and digital and data services. In five years under McCurdy’s management, Canon doubled in size, expanding its trade shows into 10 countries and developing a significant suite of digital and data services.
“GLM has a proven track record in exceeding the expectations of exhibitors and attendees with high-quality, customer-focused events,” says Michael J Dominguez, a Managing Director at Providence. “We believe there are significant opportunities to grow GLM’s tradeshow brands in the US and internationally both organically and through acquisition, as well as to develop exciting new digital and data services. The company already has a talented senior management team. This will be further strengthened with additional direction from Charlie, who has more than 30 years of experience in managing and investing in niche media, information and education companies.”
McCurdy said, “I’m thrilled to partner with Providence as it acquires this top tier, world-class company. GLM’s presence in the growing business-to-retailer space has few rivals in the international tradeshow industry. With the help of Providence and the dedicated GLM team, we will seek to take GLM to the next level while identifying additional opportunities to expand our platform in the dynamic tradeshow space.”
Alan E Steel, President of GLM, says: “This is a compelling transaction that will allow GLM to benefit from the additional resources and expertise provided by Providence as we seek to further expand our product offerings and accelerate growth. We look forward to working with Charlie and Providence in the future.”
The transaction, which is subject to customary closing conditions and regulatory approvals, is expected to close by the end of September 2011.