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Inflexion sells minority stake in CloserStill Media

The shareholders of Inflexion Private Equity-backed CloserStill Media have reached an agreement to sell the exhibitions operator to Providence Equity Partners.

Founded in 2008, CloserStill operates content-led exhibitions throughout the UK, Europe, the US and the Far East and has been ranked in The Sunday Times HSBC International FastTrack 200 for three consecutive years. The firm’s success is down to its ability to consistently provide world-class content and attract large, high-value audiences, with The London Vet Show, the Pharmacy Show, Learning Technologies, Cloud Expo Europe, Data Centre World, Cloud Expo and Data Centre Asia in Singapore, in its portfolio.
 
Since Inflexion’s Partnership Capital Fund acquired a minority stake in CloserStill in March 2015, the business has grown significantly, including successful expansion into Asia, Germany and the US. Inflexion has supported the company’s acquisitive growth strategy, providing capital as well as M&A expertise, with eight acquisitions completed. Inflexion also worked with CloserStill to replicate its exhibitions internationally, with the launch of the first successful shows in the US (New York Vet) and Hong Kong (Cloud Asia). Overall, during Inflexion’s investment the number of exhibitions grew by just under 50 per cent and the proportion of international revenues grew from 20 per cent to 50 per cent.
 
Phil Soar, Chairman of CloserStill Media, says: “Inflexion have been a tremendous backer, giving us just the right amount of support to grow our business internationally both through taking existing UK exhibitions overseas and through acquisitions. Their in-country experts were incredibly valuable, with their input enabling us to win our largest order in the history of our Asian business. We now look forward to continuing our growth with Providence.”
 
Simon Turner, Managing Partner at Inflexion, says: “We are proud to have supported the management team in building a leading global exhibitions business. We are pleased that our expertise in acquisitions and international expansion was relevant to CloserStill as they implemented their ambitious growth plan. We wish the team all the best with their new owners.”
 
Andrew Tisdale, Managing Director at Providence, says: “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.”

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