Business News

Private Equity Firm Acquires Event Organizer Hyve for $579 Million

Skift Take

Another week, another major acquisition among UK-based event and trade show organizers. This deal marks a milestone in the Hyve Group's evolution through the impacts of the Covid pandemic and the Russia-Ukraine War.

Private equity firm Providence Equity Partners announced today that it has reached an agreement to buy UK-based event organizer Hyve.

This deal values Hyve Group at $579 million (£481 million), with Providence Equity, set to pay $1.30 (£1.08) per share for Hyve.

This follows last week’s announcement that UK-based Informa will be acquiring the Tarsus Group in a deal worth $940 million.

This is higher than the company’s share price of 93 cents (77 pence) before the deal was announced. Hyve’s board recommended the deal after rejecting two lower bids previously, of $1.22 (£1.01) and $1.26 (£1.05) per share. The earlier anonymous bids also came from Providence Equity. Hyve’s shares rose to $1.35 (£1.12) in early trading.

“The Board believes the offer represents value for shareholders and that Providence, with their knowledge of the sector and belief in the business and management team, will be a good partner for Hyve. I would like to take this opportunity to recognise the exceptional contribution of our people, whose commitment and hard work have fundamentally changed Hyve for the better and place us at the forefront of our industry,” said Hyve chairman Richard Last

Projecting the Value of the Group

Hyve organizes events in 11 countries under event brands such as Shoptalk, Spring Fair, Bett, Mining Indaba, and the recently acquired Fintech Meetup. CEO Mark Shashoua co-founded the company in 1991 under the name ITE Group. He left in 1999, later returning as CEO again in 2017.

Hyve’s share price hovered around $7 before dropping sharply due to the Covid pandemic. The company also took a big hit over the past year due to the war in Ukraine and deciding to sell its multiple business interests in Russia.

In December, it released promising preliminary results for its financial year 2022, including revenues of $147,22 million (£122.5 million), up from $26.2 million (£21.8 million) in 2021, and a pre-tax profit of $13.8 million (£11.5 million). It said a number of events had outperformed pre-pandemic levels.. In February, it appointed Julie Harris as a non-executive director, with Harris becoming chair of its ESG committee.

Regardless of current share prices, Providence Equity said it believes that Hyve has established a strong platform for future growth, underpinned by its portfolio of high-quality global brands and market-leading events focused on developed markets and growing sectors. It aims to provide capital to allow Hyve to expand both organically and via mergers and acquisitions.

The dealmakers expect the dead to close in May if approved by shareholders.