BREAKING NEWS: Doug Emslie’s Cuil Bay Capital launches with acquisition of Raccoon Media Group

UK-based Cuil Bay Capital (CBC), a new investment vehicle led by exhibition industry entrepreneur Doug Emslie, former CEO of Tarsus Group, announces its inaugural investment, the acquisition of a majority stake in UK-based Raccoon Media Group (Raccoon). Exact terms of the deal have not been disclosed.

Founded in 2016, Raccoon achieved acclaim with the launch of the multi-award-winning National Running Show, which next runs at the NEC, Birmingham in January 2024.

The company has gone on to launch several more events in the UK and US and experienced remarkable growth, transforming into a high-growth media business dedicated to promoting healthy and active lifestyles.

Raccoon currently organises a range of events, spanning the Running, Outdoor, Cycling, Snow, Equine, and Allergy sectors in the UK. with further ventures in the US, including Run, Snow, and Outdoor exhibitions.

CBC says its strategy focuses on acquiring well-established, entrepreneurial businesses and events that are in the high-growth stage in sectors that are in transition. The purchase of Raccoon is the initial stage of what CBC says is developing a portfolio that focuses on healthy, active and sustainable markets that inspire positive lifestyle choices.

CBC chairman Doug Emslie, who was the first employee of Tarsus Group in 1998 and who served as its CEO until its acquisition by Informa for $1bn in April 2023, will assume the position of chairman at Raccoon.

Speaking about the acquisition, Emslie expressed his enthusiasm, stating: “I am very pleased to have Raccoon as our first investment and I look forward to working with Mike Seaman and his team to help them execute their exciting expansion programme. Raccoon will continue to grow organically, by launching new products and by acquisition. They have a clear plan building passion-led communities in multiple media channels and we are excited to help them achieve their aims.

“The exhibition sector is a very entrepreneurial and dynamic sector and the opportunity for CBC is to help entrepreneurs accelerate the scaling of their businesses both sectorally and geographically, by providing both financial and strategic input.”

Mike Seaman, who remains CEO of Raccoon Media Group, added: “Over the past seven years, Raccoon has evolved from a personal dream to a business that employs 33 members of staff, delivers 10 events per year, has a growing digital arm and operates in the US as well as the UK I couldn’t be prouder of the team and what we have managed to achieve together. This acquisition is perfectly timed to enable us to take the next step on our journey, building on the solid foundations that already exist and giving us the investment and ability to expand”.


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