Media 10 has announced the sale of Design Shanghai, along with sister event Design China Beijing, to Clarion Events for an undisclosed sum. The deal is Media 10's first sale in its nearly 17-year history.
Design Shanghai has grown since its launch in 2014 to become one of the region's most highly respected shows for the design market, and complements Clarion's existing events in the region. Media 10 CEO Lee Newton spoke to EN about the reasoning behind the deal.
"They paid us the money that we needed to make our first ever sale," he explained. "They obviously respected the value of the show. The show is booming at the moment and still has plenty room for growth.
"It gives us the cash to have more choice about what our next move is. It'll allow us to look at more potential acquisitions. It might allow us to take our shows and our skills to other countries and it puts Media 10 in the frame to grow."
Media 10 group marketing director Rob Nathan added that the deal was "arguably one of the most significant event sales since Ecobuild".
The sale might even mark a sea change in how Media 10 approaches its events, continued Newton.
"Maybe we want to become a bit more fluid in what we do, and launch more, buy more, sell more," he told EN. "We famously said our main plan was to not have a plan, but maybe we've decided that we should have a plan and a different approach going forward."
Neil Gaisford, Clarion Events’ managing director – retail & home, explained that Clarion had been following the success of Design Shanghai with great interest following its inception in 2014.
"We are extremely excited about our new partnership," he said. "The global design sector is highly dynamic and China is one of the world’s biggest markets. We’ve been impressed with the management team’s ambition and approach and see a great future for the design events in the region going forward."
Design Shanghai and Beijing will continue to be headed by event director Zhuo Tan, who stated: “Clarion shares our passion for design and is the ideal partner to solidify our rapid growth and push forward with our plans for the future development of our events in China. We have built a fantastic team that is ready for the next stage in our journey and the experience, resource and commitment from Clarion will undoubtably be of great value."
Design China Beijing takes place on 12-16 September 2019 at the National Agricultural Exhibition Centre, while Design Shanghai takes place on 11-14 March 2020 at Shanghai World Expo Exhibition & Convention Center.