Reed Exhibitions to acquire Mack Brooks Exhibitions

Following weeks of speculation of Mack Brooks Exhibitions being up for sale, Reed Exhibitions, a division of RELX Group, has officially announced it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Mack Brooks Exhibitions. The parties have not disclosed the value of the deal.

Once the deal is finalised, it will add a major line-up of industry-leading brands to Reed’s global portfolio.

“It also promises access to innovation and new value in both face-to-face and digital formats for the more than 175,000 Mack Brooks customers around the world,” a Reed statement said.

UK St Albans-based Mack Brooks Exhibitions was established in 1965 and features more than 30 B2B events in 14 countries, including Germany and the UK, serving nine industry sectors. Flagship brands include EuroBLECH (sheet metal working technology); inter airport (airport infrastructure and technology); Fastener Fair (fastener and fixing technology); Chemspec (fine and speciality chemicals); RAILTEX (rail infrastructure and technology); ICE Europe (paper, film and foil converting); CCE (manufacturing and converting corrugated and cartonboard); PSE Europe (plastics) and InPrint (print technology for industrial manufacturing).

A broad programme of geo-cloning has successfully positioned many of these brands and related adjacencies outside Germany and the UK to include a presence today in countries including France, Italy, the United States, Mexico, China, Singapore, Thailand, India and Turkey.

Stephen Brooks, Chairman of Mack Brooks, said: “I am delighted for our customers and staff and extremely positive about the future of Mack Brooks as part of Reed Exhibitions. Our events and customers will benefit tremendously from Reed Exhibitions’ global reach, experience in delivering customer value and investment in technology. I am proud of the business we have built and happy to see it in such experienced hands for the next chapter of its evolution.”

“Mack Brooks is an excellent fit with Reed Exhibitions’ existing portfolio and the combination of the two businesses will deliver value for all stakeholders, including customers and staff,” added Chet Burchett, CEO of Reed Exhibitions.

“Mack Brooks is widely recognised as a market leading exhibitions organiser and bringing these shows together with Reed Exhibitions’ own strengths in delivering customer value and innovation represents an exceptional opportunity,” Burchett continued. “For customers, we will be able to add value through capabilities such as our International Sales Group, innovative digital tools and increasingly sophisticated customer matchmaking programmes. For employees, Reed Exhibitions will provide exciting new opportunities. The acquisition is in line with our organic growth driven strategy, supported by acquisitions of targeted show portfolios that are natural additions to our existing business.

“We will be delighted to welcome the Mack Brooks team to Reed Exhibitions and look forward to working together to deliver ever-greater value for all our customers.”

Mayfield Merger Strategies' Steve Monnington tells EW: "The Mack Brooks transaction is similar to the All World deal at the end of 2016 in that it’s the sale of one of the few remaining long term family owned businesses.

"Private Equity firms were also very interested due to the size but the sale to Reed keeps it 'in the family'. This is a very logical purchase for Reed given their strength in Germany. 

"It will be interesting to see if they integrate the business into each of their country operations which would mean that the Mack Brooks brand would dissipate over time." 

The transaction is subject to customary regulatory consents and is expected to close during the first half of 2019. 

Reed Exhibitions has more than 500 events in 30 countries.