The Meetings Show sold to Northstar Travel Media in £9m ‘important milestone’ deal

Centaur Media Travel and Meetings Ltd, which includes The Meetings Show and the Business Travel Show, is set to be sold to Northstar Travel Media UK Ltd for £9.25 million.

Northstar Travel Media UK is the UK arm of US-based B2B Northstar Media Group, a global information and marketing solutions company that organises similar trade shows in the US.

The sale follows Centaur’s decision last year to explore divestment of its smaller businesses to “accelerate the simplification of the group’s structure to improve operational execution and to focus attention on the leading brands within its marketing division.”

Andria Vidler, CEO of Centaur, said: “Today’s announcement is another important milestone in Centaur’s ongoing transformation. As we focus on building more robust and stronger recurring revenues, we are reducing group complexity and overheads that will allow us to deliver efficiencies and improve our operating margins.

“Our travel and meetings exhibitions have made a valuable contribution to Centaur over the years, and I would like to take this opportunity to thank the team for their commitment. I am pleased that the business is joining Northstar, who recognise its value and whose expertise and understanding of the travel sector will help it to realise its potential.”

The 25-year-old Business Travel Show is claimed to be the largest event of its kind in Europe, while The Meetings Show is said to be the UK market leader. The shows are reported to attract some 14,000 visitors and almost 1,000 exhibitors.

David Chapple, group event director, said: “The acquisition of the Travel & Meetings business by Northstar is very exciting for all of the teams working across The Meetings Show, The Business Travel Show and Travel Technology Europe. Northstar’s portfolio, spanning corporate travel, travel technology and the global meetings and incentive industry, dovetails perfectly with our own and they have been our preferred choice from the outset.

“For all of our events, it is business as usual – the teams working on the shows, with their extensive knowledge of the sector, will be remaining exactly the same; our exhibitors and hosted buyers will have the same points of contact and we will be continuing to provide vital platforms for the meetings, events and travel industries to converge. Our next chapter, as part of the Northstar Travel Group, will open doors for us and lead to an even stronger future.”

Thomas Kemp, chairman and CEO of Northstar Travel Group, said: “The addition of Centaur’s Travel & Meetings exhibitions to our global portfolio of 80 events in 13 countries fits perfectly with our strategy to expand our event segment with the UK’s leading portfolio of travel shows. The acquisition also provides Northstar with a platform in London to expand our portfolio of travel information and marketing services properties in the UK and Europe and we are excited to add David Chapple and his team of travel event professionals to the Northstar team.”

Shares in Centaur Media PLC fell 3.7 per cent to 51p on Wednesday (10 April) in reaction to the news of the sale.

The Meetings Show 2019 will take place on Wednesday 26 and Thursday 27 June at Olympia London.