ITE Group, owner of Moda, to acquire Ascential's Pure London

London - ITE Group PLC, the parent company of leading trade fairs Moda, Scoop and Jacket Required is set to acquire the exhibition division from the owner of London’s biggest fashion trade fair Pure London, Ascential Exhibitions, for 300 million pounds.

The deal sees ownership of the UK’s leading fashion trade fairs coming together under a single owner. ITE Group announced today that is has entered into a conditional agreement to acquire Ascential plc exhibition business, which includes global events Bett and CWIEME, as well as UK events such as the Spring and Autumn Fairs, Glee, BVE and Pure London. The sale comes after Ascential undertook a strategic review of its exhibition business to assess all options earlier this year, in which the board concluded that a sale was in the best interest of all shareholders.

The sale of Ascential exhibitions business to ITE Group will allow its brands to “prosper under the ownership of a specialised exhibition organiser,” said Ascential in a statement. The exhibitions business generated revenues of 82.9 million pounds in the financial year which ended December 31, 2017. Following the sale, Ascential will continue to focus on its strategy and drive growth by investing in its core capabilities, such as its global trend forecasting service WGSN, environmental risk data business Groundsure and e-commerce analytics providers One Click Retail.

ITE Group, owner of Moda, to acquire Ascential's Pure London

Ascential to sell exhibition division, which includes Pure London, to ITE Group

“The strategic review of the Exhibitions business was undertaken to ensure that we prioritize our time and capital on enabling our customers to succeed in the digital economy,” said Duncan Painter, Chief Executive Officer of Ascential in a statement. “We are therefore pleased to have found a good home and achieved a fair price for the Exhibitions business. Winning in the digital economy is one of the biggest challenges our customers face and we want to ensure we are at the forefront of helping them achieve this.”

ITE Group directors believe that Ascential exhibitions business division offers an attractive, high-quality portfolio of ‘must-attend’ exhibitions and that the acquisition is in line with its ongoing strategy of making product-driven acquisitions. In addition, the sale will also help diversify ITE Group’s exposure to new end market verticals, like education technology and transformer technologies while diversifying its geographic footprint and paving the way for future growth. The sale is expected to complete in July.

“Today, we have announced an agreement to acquire a highly complementary portfolio of exhibitions from Ascential,” said Mark Shashoua, CEO of ITE Group in a statement. “Each show is market-leading and two are truly global. This acquisition accelerates our strategy of becoming product-led and building a portfolio of content-driven, must-attend events regardless of geography.”

“A number of our senior management team, including myself, know these assets extremely well and see a clear opportunity to drive cost synergies, and provide the investment, operational rigour and international platform required to drive growth. We expect the acquisition to be earnings enhancing during FY2019, our first full financial year of ownership, and our Board unanimously considers the acquisition and the rights issue to be in the best interests of ITE and its shareholders.”

Photos: Pure London