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April 5, 2008

Ithaca buyout shows power of events

CMP Information’s (CMPi’s) recent acquisition of event marketing company Ithaca is the latest in a series of events industry acquisitions, and further reveals the strength and interest in the live marketing industry at the moment, according to the Events Industry Alliance’s group chief executive Trevor Foley.

Global media giant United Business Media (UBM) last week announced that CMPi, UBM's UK-based business information division, had acquired Ithaca Holdings Limited from the company's management and NVM Private Equity for a total cash consideration of £14.25 million.

Ithaca’s portfolio comprises three established trade exhibitions (Internet World, Leisure Industry Week and Service Management Europe) and three other events (London Calling, Triple i and Saltex), which fit in with CMPi’s existing market activity, as confirmed by chief executive Gary Hughes.

"I am pleased that we are expanding our UK event portfolio with the acquisition of Ithaca,” he said. “This acquisition builds and broadens our media portfolio in a number of our existing B2B markets, adding a complementary event component to our offering in each of those B2B communities."

As far as Trevor Foley, group chief executive of the Events Industry Alliance is concerned, the move is yet more proof of the current marketing power of events.

"This is further evidence, if it’s needed, that live event marketing is one of the strongest media channels right now and a route to market of choice for more and more marketers,” he said. “It follows Emap’s £19 million acquisition of Trades Exhibitions, Channel 4’s buy into Taste Events and Ingenious Media Active Capital’s £7.2 million investment in Brand Events earlier in the year. With face-to-face engagement, interactivity and customer experience topping the priority lists, astute marketers in greater numbers than ever are turning to live event marketing to develop and cement brand loyalty.”

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