Wasserstein Partners Acquires Northstar Travel Group

In one of the largest B2B media transactions this year, Northstar Travel Group, which provides a broad array of products in the retail and corporate events markets, was sold from one private-equity firm—the Wicks Group—to another, Wasserstein Partners, Northstar CEO Thomas Kemp said today.

Investing alongside Wasserstein Partners IV were co-investors Alberta Teachers’ Retirement Fund Board, John Hancock, and Storebrand Insurance. Northstar, based in Secaucus, New Jersey, owns brands including Travel Weekly, TravelAge West, Business Travel News, Successful Meetings, and Meetings & Conventions. It has expanded aggressively in Asia, building out versions of its domestic brands in China as well as adding new ones. Northstar produces more than 50 face-to-face events in 13 countries. It owns the business intelligence and event producer Phocuswright, which serves the fastest-growing segment of the travel industry—online travel distribution. And it’s the majority shareholder in Inntopia, the leading SaaS e-commerce software provider serving the mountain destination, activities, and specialty destination travel markets.

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