Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Reed Exhibitions on the block... maybe

The Sunday Times is reporting that at least one private equity group is sniffing around Reed Exhibitions (RX)- owned by U.K.-listed Reed Elsevier (RE). The company's CEO Erik Engstrom claims that RE is just not interested, but with Reed Elsevier sitting on a £3.9 billion mountain of debt, it must be tempting to see what the market would offer.

According to The Sunday Times, Texas-based private equity firm, TPG, is interested and has valued RX at £1.5 billion. With RX's underlying profit of £150 million, that would seem a reasonable valuation. RX hosts some 470 events annually and employs over 2,700. In 2008, RX generated revenues of £707 million - about 13% of RE's £5.33 billion total revenues.

RE's half year results are due to be released on 29th July. Weak results just might push RE's management to think a little more seriously about a potential cash influx of £1.5 billion.

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

Computex rolls on

Computex Taipei wrapped up this past weekend and posted a 20% increase in visitors according the Taiwan External Trade Development Council (TAITRA). 120,000 visitors passed through the gates including over 35,000 international buyers. The top five sources of overseas visitors were the U.S., Japan, China, Hong Kong and South Korea. TAITRA also reported that buyers from emerging markets also increased significantly - especially visitors from Russia, India and Brazil.

The Economist recently argued that Computex is now the most important IT exhibition in the world, although Germany's CeBIT is still the largest. The Economist noted that 50% of all chips, 70% of computer displays and 90% of all portable computers are made in Taiwan.

Now in its 30th year, Computex grew its visitors by 20% and its total booth number by 8%. The mammoth exhibition featured nearly 4,900 booths this year hosted at multiple venues including: Nangang Exhibition Hall, Taipei International Convention Centre (TICC), Taipei World Trade Centre (TWTC) Halls 1 and 3.

TAITRA is already clamouring for more space and Computex is showing now sign of slowing down. The event's growth prospects continue to look strong as better ties between Taiwan and mainland China are rapidly pushing up the number of exhibitors and visitors from China.