NEW YORK (May 19, 2003) – Media merchant bank Veronis Suhler Stevenson today announced the signing of a definitive agreement for the sale of ExpoExchange LLC, the largest convention and trade show information management company in the U.S., to Conferon, a leading independent meeting planning firm. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
Formerly known as Galaxy Information Services, ExpoExchange, was acquired in 1997 as part of the purchase of The Official Information Company, a diversified business information company owned and controlled by VS&A Communications Partners II L.P., the private equity affiliate of Veronis Suhler Stevenson.
With the completion of the transaction, the combination of ExpoExchange and Conferon forms Conferon Global Event Services, the industry’s leading outsourcing provider for meeting site selection, meeting planning, registration, housing room block management, sales lead management, development of online events as well as many other essential meeting services. The Company will manage nearly four million room nights annually; provide superior customer results for over 1000 client accounts; register more than four million tradeshow attendees each year; and, participate in 72 of the largest 200 trade shows in the U.S including the top 5 according to Trade Show Week.
“ExpoExchange has grown dramatically over the past five years, through both exceptional organic growth as well as through several acquisitions that served to significantly expand their service offerings and revenue opportunity,” said Scott J. Troeller, Partner at Veronis Suhler Stevenson. “The combination with Conferon is a logical next step in ExpoExchange’s development and we are confident that these two market leading companies will continue to expand customer relationships.”
With the sale of ExpoExchange, Veronis Suhler Stevenson has completed the divestiture of the last remaining company out of The Official Information Company, a public company taken private by VS&A Communications Partners II L.P., in October 1997 for total consideration of $160 million. In addition to ExpoExchange, The Official Information Company consisted of four other independent businesses, including Total Information Services, Inc, a leading provider of pre-employment screening databases and services; Corsearch, Inc, a provider of trademark and tradename research services; Atwood Publishing LLC, publisher of directories, daily newspapers and marketing services to the tradeshow and events industry; and GEM Communications LLC, a business-to-business media company publishing trade magazines and operating trade shows covering the worldwide gaming industries.
As part of the initial acquisition of The Official Information Company, a long term strategic growth plan was put in place to maximize the value of these five distinct entities as separate businesses held under a common capital structure. This plan resulted in delivering exceptional organic growth. Additionally, the company completed nine add-on acquisitions with the assistance of Veronis Suhler Stevenson, providing each business with scale, stronger product lines, and opportunities for additional business development initiatives. As a result, The Official Information Company’s size more than doubled, and in aggregate, its five distinct businesses yielded gross transaction proceeds of approximately $400 million in five separate sale transactions since the initial purchase.
“The accomplishments of The Official Information Company and its management team speak for themselves,” continued Scott Troeller. “We are pleased to have been part of such a dynamic company and to have worked with management to accomplish this outstanding end result. We are confident that the businesses developed and grown during the last five years will continue to flourish as independent businesses outside of the ownership of The Official Information Company.”
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