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April 6, 2008

Acquisition shows growing power of events

The increasing vibrancy of live marketing and events was revealed yesterday when corporate events giant The Concerto Group made yet another acquisition in the form of event management company EventWise.

The move is further evidence of The Concerto Group’s ongoing acquisition strategy, capitalising on an industry on the rise.

“The live events market is very buoyant currently,” said the company’s marketing director Sam Gill, “as media fragmentation provides the industry with a bigger and bigger slice of the media cake.”

Established in 1996 by managing director (MD) Penny Ellis, newly acquired EventWise delivers over 100 events a year, including activity days, conferences and parties. The EventWise brand will be retained and its full-time team of eight will continue to work out of the company's offices in Fulham, West London.

Ellis, who will continue as MD, is enthusiastic about the future of the company within The Concerto Group. “We are delighted to be joining such an ambitious and exciting company as Concerto,” she said. “This is great news for us and our clients. The tremendous resources of the group in venues, catering, marquees and production will give us huge opportunities to further develop and expand our business.”

The deal was headed up by The Concerto Group’s Chairman, Mike Kershaw, who commented: “Bringing the creativity and drive of the EventWise team into the Group has further strengthened our position as the UK’s leading integrated event solutions provider. We are determined to grow our business through an expansion of our venue portfolio, so the experience and superb client base of EventWise can only be of benefit to this long-term goal.”

The Concerto Group now boasts a portfolio of 20 Christmas party venues in London and the South East, ranging from the intimacy of EventWise’s 1 Birdcage Walk in the West End, to The Ultimate Experience’s 600-seater conservatory structure within the Royal Hospital Gardens, Chelsea.

This deal follows last year’s acquisition of the Oxfordshire-based caterer Touch of Taste and the recent win of the three-year exclusive catering and events contract at Plaisterers’ Hall, both of which are in line with the Group’s events and venues-driven expansion strategy.

Asked when The Concerto Group’s voracious acquisition appetite will be satiated, Gill replied: “When the money runs out!” adding: “But seriously, our acquisitions are not purely financially motivated. We look for companies that raise the overall standing of the Group, that are open, honest and have experience working in partnership. We have worked with EventWise for a number of years and the company is an obvious fit and represents a great opportunity.”

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