PHOENIX—VIRGO, an information distribution company focused on the most innovative and complex business-to-business markets that fuel the U.S. and world economies, has been acquired by London-based Informa plc, subject to receipt of U.S. anti-trust clearance, and will be part of the company’s Global Exhibitions Group. Financial details of the transaction have not been disclosed but the acquisition is expected to enhance Group earnings in its first full year post acquisition.
The acquisition will provide the Global Exhibitions Group with a similar platform for expansion of its exhibition activities in the United States. This is the largest exhibition market globally by some distance but one where Informa has historically lacked any significant presence, with its event activity in the region predominantly focused around conferences and learning.
VIRGO has a portfolio of six major trade shows and conferences, including the leading U.S. exhibition in the Health & Nutrition vertical, SupplySide West. This is highly complementary to Vitafoods, Informa’s leading Exhibition Brand within this market sector in Europe, Latin America and Asia. Both companies expect there will be some attractive synergies by bringing the Health & Nutrition assets into the same portfolio and creating a global brand proposition, in the same way Informa’s acquisition in China last year complemented its position in the Beauty Vertical, where it holds strong positions in Europe. The transaction also provides Informa with an established base in the United States, the largest exhibition market globally.
In announcing the acquisition, Informa noted: “We continue to expand organically and by acquisition. Today’s announcement of the purchase of a U.S. exhibition business complements our existing position in the Health & Nutrition market sector through Vitafoods, creating a strong, global grand proposition in this attractive vertical. It also provides us with an established base on which to build our presence in the important U.S. Exhibitions Sector. The strong performance of our Global Exhibitions business in the first half further confirms the growth potential of this market.”
John Siefert, CEO of VIRGO, commented: “The opportunity to align VIRGO’s events, web and media programming within the Informa business offers an incredible amount of scale to everything the company has accomplished. At the same time, the ability to lever VIRGO’s position and infrastructure in the United States to bring Informa’s global exhibitions to the U.S. will be a game changer in the market.”
In addition to SupplySide West, VIRGO’s Health & Nutrition Network currently produces industry-leading media brands and events including Natural Products INSIDER, Food Product Design, SupplySide Animal Nutrition Insights, SupplySide Omega-3 Insights, Ingredient Marketplace and more. Jon Benninger, vice president of the Health & Nutrition Network, commented: “Bringing the SupplySide and Vitafoods events together within the same global organization is incredibly powerful for these markets and all of the companies that we serve. I could not imagine a more strategic approach, it is a very exciting move for all of us. And considering the powerful content strategy and media brands in the Health & Nutrition Network, this move affords great potential for scale.”