Providence Equity Partners to acquire Hyve Group in £481m deal

US firm Providence Equity Partners has agreed a deal to acquire UK-based exhibition business Hyve Group. The terms of the offer are 108p in cash for each Hyve share and the deal values the international conference organiser at approximately £481m (US580m).

A previous bid of 105p per share had been rejected. The Hyve directors, who have been advised by Goldman Sachs International and Numis as to the financial terms of the acquisition, said they considered the new terms of the acquisition to be fair and reasonable and unanimously recommended the deal. It will now go for approval to Hyve’s shareholders and is also subject to anti-trust clearance in the US.

Hyve’s global portfolio of market leading brands is divided across four divisions: RetailTech & FinTech, EdTech & Natural Resources and Retail, Manufacturing & Engineering and Asia. The portfolio consists of 33 in-person events and 23 tech-enabled products and includes brands such as: Shoptalk, Spring Fair, Bett, Mining Indaba and the recently acquired Fintech Meetup.

A statement by both companies boards said Providence believes that Hyve has established a strong platform for future organic and inorganic growth underpinned by Hyve’s portfolio of high-quality global brands and market-leading events focused on developed markets and in growing sectors.

Hyve chairman Richard Last said: “The Board believes the offer represents value for shareholders and that Providence, with their knowledge of the sector and belief in the business and management team, will be a good partner for Hyve.

“I would like to take this opportunity to recognise the exceptional contribution of our people, whose commitment and hard work have fundamentally changed Hyve for the better, and place us at the forefront of our industry.”

Commenting on the acquisition, Andrew Tisdale, a senior managing director of Providence Equity Partners L.L.C., said: “We are delighted to be investing in Hyve and supporting Mark [Shashoua] and the management team, including with capital to support their growth plans.”

Providence is an experienced investor in the events sector having been the majority shareholder of CloserStill Media since 2018, and having previously invested in Clarion Events and GLM.

Providence said it is uniquely placed to support Hyve in the next stage of Hyve’s development as a standalone business by leveraging its knowledge and experience of the industry, and by providing the capital necessary to accelerate, both organically and via value-enhancing acquisitions, Hyve’s omnichannel strategy, thereby realising Hyve’s full growth potential.

Providence is a specialist private equity investment firm focused on growth-oriented media, communications, education, and technology companies across North America and Europe. 

News of the Hyve deal follow hard on the heals of news of acquisitions of exhibition organiser Tarsus and of event management software specialists Cvent.


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