Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Was there significant ROI for Canon’s owners?

Folio Magazine has a detailed take on UBM’s US$287 million acquisition of Canon Communications. Folio wonders if Apprise Media, one of Canon’s major owners, managed to extract a decent return on its five year investment in Canon.

In 2005, Apprise together with private equity firm Spectrum acquired Canon from another PE firm, Veronis Suhler Stevenson for US$200 million. Apprise’s Charlie McCurdy then stepped in as Canon’s CEO and he focused on growing Canon’s portfolio of events and publishing properties – largely through acquisitions. Folio’s timeline of Canon since 2005 includes eight separate acquisitions including one deal from May 2006 deal to buy eight trade shows from Reed.

McCurdy told Folio that Canon was negotiating with UBM, while simultaneously re-negotiating the terms of its debt which was scheduled to mature in May next year.

Regardless of how attractive Apprise’s ROI turned out on this deal, it is an undoubtedly positive sign to see M&A activity in the B2B media sector moving in the right direction and UBM is leading the charge as well with at least five Asia-related deals in 2010 including: Sign China in Shenzhen, the Shanghai International Children-Baby-Maternity Products Expo, UM Paper in Shanghai, Corporate360 in Hong Kong and Canon which has some Asian staff and events.

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