Providence acquires CloserStill for US$431m

London, 20th December: Global asset management firm, Providence Equity Partners, announced that the company has signed an agreement to acquire CloserStill Media, a U.K.-based trade show and event organiser, for £340 million (US$431 million). Providence has experience owning exhibition businesses. Previously, Providence held stakes in Clarion Events and George Little Management in the U.S.


CloserStill’s valuation has reportedly jumped rapidly in the past seven years. Accordingly to an article in Exhibition World, CloserStill was valued at £25 million (US$32 million) in 2012 when Phoenix Private Equity acquired a stake and then £125 million (US$158 million) in 2015 when Inflexion bought a minority stake. This suggests that CloserStill’s valuation has risen more than 13 times in just seven years.


CloserStill operates a portfolio of global brands covering the technology, learning and healthcare sectors. The company has more than 270 employees at offices in London, Paris, New York, Los Angeles, Berlin, Singapore and Hong Kong. After the transaction, Phil Soar and Phil Nelson, co-founders of CloserStill, and the broader management team, will remain shareholders alongside Providence.


Andrew Tisdale, Managing Director at Providence, said, “CloserStill is an exceptional business led by a strong management team with a proven track record of developing and acquiring successful events around the world. With a compelling global portfolio and diverse customer base across the technology, learning and healthcare sectors, CloserStill is well-positioned to accelerate the momentum the business has generated to date. We are excited to partner with such a fantastic team and look forward to working together.”


Sources: Providence press release, Exhibition World article