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GLM to be sold to Emerald Expositions

Formerly Nielsen, Emerald buys George Little Management for $335 million

Emerald Expositions will acquire George Little Management from Providence Equity Partners for $335 million, it was announced today by Emerald parent company Onex Corporation.


GLM operates several tradeshows in the United States, including NY Now, the International Contemporary Furniture Fair, Surtex, Internet Retailer Conference & Exhibition, and others. Emerald, formerly Nielsen Expositions, also operates numerous tradeshows, including the HD Expo, and others in the design, general merchandise, photography, sports, jewelry, decorated apparel, building, healthcare and military arenas. GLM has approximately 130 employees and operates out of six U.S. offices.

In June 2013, Onex Partners III acquired Emerald with the intention of growing the business through add-on acquisitions of smaller exhibition businesses in existing and adjacent end-markets, according to a press release on the move.


"GLM is a truly outstanding tradeshow company with an exciting portfolio and an experienced and talented workforce," said David Loechner, chief executive officer of Emerald. "This acquisition expands upon our position as a leading tradeshow organizer in the United States. I am excited about the opportunities for customers and employees of both companies that will result from bringing these two high-quality portfolios together."

Charles McCurdy, chief executive officer of GLM, told Home Accents Today this afternoon that he will be leaving GLM once the transaction is complete.

"The nature of their business, which is very substantially involved in the supplier-to-retailer world, is very consistent with what GLM does, so it's a great business combination," he told Home Accents Today. "Emerald is about twice the size of GLM, so combined it will be a very substantial enterprise. I think GLM will have access to at least as many resources as it has had to continue to grow in its market and find new ways to provide services. It's an exciting new chapter for GLM."


McCurdy said he doesn't anticipate any changes to the upcoming NY Now, set for Feb. 1-6 in New York. 

"I don't see any changes to the experiences our buyers and suppliers will have at our shows and our markets," he said. "Emerald is buying a great company with a great team, and I think they will be taking full advantage of the combinaton of the two businesses."

In conjunction with this transaction, Onex Partners III, Onex' $4.7 billion private equity fund, will make an equity investment of approximately $140 million to acquire GLM, of which Onex' share is approximately $34 million as a Limited Partner in the Fund. The balance of the acquisition price will be funded with debt financing.

The transaction is anticipated to close in January 2014, subject to customary regulatory approvals. 

"This transaction demonstrates the strength of GLM's shows that have grown successfully thanks to the effectiveness of the GLM team and Providence's support," McCurdy said in a press release about the announcement. "This is a compelling opportunity going forward for GLM and its stakeholders, and I wish David Loechner and his team the best of luck as they seek to further expand GLM's product offerings and accelerate growth."

Providence bought GLM in 2011 for $173 million.

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