NVM Private Equity has realised a part exit in business-to-business exhibition organiser CloserStill through an investment by Phoenix Equity Partners, which values the business at £25m (€31.2m).
Following the transaction, NVM has retained a 10 per cent stake in the company. The deal rewarded NVM with a 3.2 times money multiple on its original £4m investment, generating an IRR of 38 per cent.
Phoenix is backing the existing management team, led by chief executive Andy Center, chairman Phil Soar, Phil Nelson and Michael Westcott.
The ongoing investment from NVM coupled with Phoenix's fresh capital will support management's accelerated growth strategy, including international expansion and further UK-based growth, driven by acquisitions and new launches.
With NVM's support over the last three years, CloserStill now boasts a portfolio of ten major exhibitions in the UK, principally in the healthcare and technology sectors, including the London Vet Show, the Pharmacy Show, the Dentistry Show, Learning Technologies, nextgen, and the recently launched Clinical Pharmacy Congress. The company has just announced its first international event, France Vet, which takes place in Paris next year.
CloserStill was formed through NVM's 2008 backing of the management team of Ithaca Business Media, a portfolio company the firm sold in April 2005. NMV initially invested £4m, with a further £3m made available for acquisitions.
The management team (Center, Soar, Nelson and Westcott) led B2B exhibitions, events and media group Ithaca when NVM bought the company in April 2005. NVM sold Ithaca to United Business Media for £14.2m in 2009, generating an IRR of 60 per cent.