British events company acquires FLIBS

March 2, 2017 Murielle Gonzalez

Informa agrees to pay $133m (£106m) to rival firm Active Interest Media, the organiser of FLIBS and four other yachting shows in the US. David Robinson reports.

Informa, the London-based company that runs the Monaco Yacht Show (MYS), has agreed to pay $133m (£106m) for Yachting Promotions from Active Interest Media (AIM). The acquisition includes Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show (FLIBS) and four other US boat shows.

Besides FLIBS, Informa acquires the Yachts Miami Beach Show, the Palm Beach International Boat Show, the St. Petersburg Power and Sailboat Show and Suncoast Boat Show in Sarasota, Florida.

FLIBS, the largest marine leisure event, attracts 100,000 attendees and 1,300 exhibitors bringing over 1,200 boats each November to Fort Lauderdale. The show features a significant superyacht element which Informa sees as being complimentary with MYS, the leading superyacht event in the world.

“With this acquisition Informa Exhibitions becomes the world’s leading yacht show organizer,” says  Charlie McCurdy, Informa CEO.

Superyacht focus

“Combining the world’s premiere show, based in Europe, with these five shows in North America creates a scale player in this attractive and growing vertical, further strengthening our relationship with leading yacht brokers and builders, providing good opportunities for cross promotion and extending customer relationships across platforms and geographies.”

McCurdy notes that with the addition of these Florida shows, and following the addition of Penton’s exhibitions portfolio in 2016, Informa Exhibitions becomes Informa PLC’s largest division by revenue and profit.

“Acquisitions in key and growing verticals will continue to be part of our growth strategy going forward as we look for events that complement what we are doing within vertical markets we have identified as attractive,” he adds.

Efrem Zimbalist III, AIM group chairman, comments: “We can think of no better company than Informa Exhibitions, with its global resources, to focus on the continued growth and success of these excellent boat shows while continuing to exceed the expectations of their exhibitors and attendees.”

Zimbalist III will advise Informa during the transition, and the rest of the Yachting Promotions team will continue with the company as it moves forward.

Informa will continue Yachting Promotions’ supportive role in the North American boating and maritime industry, including its role as a member of the International Federation of Boat Show Organisers (IFBSO), the National Association of Consumer Shows (NACS); Marine Industries Association of South Florida (Sponsor); Marine Industries Association of Palm Beach County (Sponsor); International Yacht Brokers Association (formerly Florida Yacht Brokers Association); NMMA, the National Marine Manufacturers Association; and Sail America.

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