Onex to Acquire Nielsen Expositions for $950 Million

Private equity firm Onex Corporation has agreed to acquire Nielsen Expositions from its parent, an affiliate of Nielsen Holdings N.V., for $950 million in cash consideration. Nielsen Expositions is a leading operator of large, business-to-business trade shows in the United States. The transaction is anticipated to close in the second quarter, subject to customary closing conditions.

Based in San Juan Capistrano, CA, Nielsen Expositions produces more than 65 business-to-business trade shows and conference events each year across nine diversified end-markets, including general merchandise, sports, hospitality and retail design, jewelry and photography. Nielsen Expositions has approximately 240 employees and operates out of four U.S. offices. For the year ended December 31, 2012, Nielsen Expositions generated revenues of approximately $183 million.

“This is an exciting development in the history of the Nielsen Expositions business,” said David Loechner, president of Nielsen Expositions. “Onex’ experience and successful track record in executing similar corporate carve-outs and building those divisions into industry-leading businesses position it as a strong partner. We look forward to working with Onex to execute our strategic plan and to continue to grow the business to better serve the exhibitors and attendees who participate in our events, all the while providing a seamless, business-as-usual transition for our clients and associates.”

“Nielsen Expositions’ strength in the U.S. business-to-business trade show industry is evidenced by its high renewal rates, long-standing exhibitor relationships, and the brand strength of the underlying shows,” said Kosty Gilis, a Onex managing director. “This is a great opportunity to partner with David and his management team to build on the company’s market leadership position through continued expansion of its existing shows as well as select acquisitions.”

“Nielsen is committed to investing in and developing capabilities across our Watch and Buy segments,” said Brian West, Nielsen CFO. “Divesting the Expositions business allows us to focus on these core areas that provide our clients with a comprehensive understanding of consumers while providing more flexibility to return capital to our shareholders over time. Our Expositions leadership team has built a world-class business with successful and respected brands. We believe under Onex’ ownership, a great business will achieve even greater success.”

Onex Partners III, Onex’ $4.7 billion private equity fund, will make an equity investment of approximately $350 million, of which Onex’ share is approximately $85 million as a Limited Partner in the Fund.