Funds advised by Providence Equity Partners (“Providence”) have signed an agreement to invest in CloserStill Media (“CloserStill”), one of the world’s leading independent organisers of trade shows and events. Providence agreed to acquire a majority stake from Inflexion Private Equity (“Inflexion”), NVM Private Equity (“NVM”) and management. Phil Soar and Phil Nelson, co-founders of CloserStill, as well as the broader management team, will remain major shareholders alongside Providence. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
CloserStill is a fast-growing exhibitions business, operating an award-winning portfolio of global brands in the technology, learning and healthcare sectors. Flagship events include the London Vet Show, Cloud Expo Asia, Data Centre World, The Pharmacy Show, Learning Technologies and The Dentistry Show. The company has achieved significant organic and inorganic growth, with eleven acquisitions completed in the last three years. Today, CloserStill has a team of over 270 employees across a global network of offices in London, Paris, New York, California, Berlin, Singapore and Hong Kong.
Philip Soar, Chairman & CEO of CloserStill, said: “Over the past ten years we have worked diligently to develop a best-in-class team that has driven our remarkable growth. Our business has also benefited from the expertise provided by Inflexion and NVM and we appreciate their significant contributions in the last three years. CloserStill now has a roster of the best attended and largest events focused on the high-value technology and healthcare sectors globally. We are excited to partner with Providence, who we have known for some time, and who have extensive experience in our industry and a superb track record in supporting growth businesses.”
Phil Nelson, Commercial Director and co-founder of CloserStill, said: “Since founding the business in 2008, we have been fortunate to expand within our attractive sector verticals and I am thrilled with the results made possible by the dedication and creativity of our colleagues. I really look forward to the next chapter of our growth.”
Andrew Tisdale, Managing Director at Providence, said: “CloserStill is an exceptional business led by a strong management team with a proven track record of developing and acquiring successful events around the world. With a compelling global portfolio and diverse customer base across the technology, learning and healthcare sectors, CloserStill is well-positioned to accelerate the momentum the business has generated to date. We are excited to partner with such a fantastic team and look forward to working together.”
CloserStill was advised by Addleshaw Goddard LLP and DC Advisory on the legal and financial aspects, respectively. Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP served as legal advisor to Providence and LionTree Advisors as financial advisor.
CloserStill is a leading business trade show operator focusing on the healthcare, learning and technology sectors. Founded in 2008, CloserStill operates a portfolio of some of the fastest-growing, award-winning events, including: the London Vet Show, Cloud Expo Europe, Data Centre World, The Pharmacy Show, Learning Technologies and The Dentistry Show. CloserStill featured in the Sunday Times “100 Best Companies to Work For” in 2018 and ranked in the top 100 of the Sunday Times International Track 200 in 2016, 2017 and 2018. In 2017, CloserStill was listed in the Financial Times FT1000 Index as the fastest growing exhibitions organiser and one of the fastest growing companies in Europe. In 2018 Industry Awards, CloserStill won “Best Trade Show”, “Best Trade Show Launch”, “Best Trade Show Rising Star”, “Best Salesperson in the Industry”, “Best Operations Team in the Industry” and “Best Marketing Team in the Industry”.
About Providence Equity Partners
Providence is a premier global asset management firm with approximately $30 billion in assets under management across complementary private equity businesses. Providence pioneered a sector-focused approach to private equity investing with the vision that a dedicated team of industry experts could build exceptional companies of enduring value. Since the firm’s inception in 1989, Providence has invested in more than 180 companies and has become a leading equity investment firm focused on the media, communications, education and information industries. Providence is headquartered in Providence, RI, and also has offices in New York and London. For more information, please visit www.provequity.com.