Advanstar Acquires New York Fashion Leader ENK International

HIL ANDERSON, SENIOR EDITOR
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New York, NY – The parent company of Advanstar Communications announced the acquisition of ENK International LLC, the New York-based organizer of high-end fashion shows in the U.S., Europe and Asia.

The transaction announced November 16 will make ENK a separate division of Advanstar Global. ENK will have access to the new owners’ new digital “Shop the Floor” platform, which begins next year and will give users online access to sellers under the ENK and MAGIC brands.

“Advanstar Global has made significant investments in new technology that will enable our company to further drive value, service and solutions across the entire fashion marketplace,” said Joe Loggia, CEO of Advanstar Global.

Loggia also indicated the new arrangement could lead to the streamlining of schedules and other tweaks as Advanstar solidifies its position in the wholesale apparel industry. “Having ENK, MAGIC and PROJECT within the same family of companies provides the fashion industry a choice of intimate and customized environments that satisfy their market needs,” he said. “This allows us to be more responsive to our customers as we work to coordinate dates and venues, which makes the process more valuable for exhibitors and retailers.”

The acquisition of ENK and its 14 annual events adds Fashion Coterie, Intermezzo and Accessorie Circuit to the Advanstar stable. ENK also owns the former WSA Shoe Show, which runs twice a year in Las Vegas during  the months when the MAGIC Marketplace shows are not in session.

ENK was founded by Elyse Kroll, who quietly left the company in the Fall after some 30 years at the helm. Tom Nastos, who was named president in 2009, remained in charge of the company.

Trade media reports said the equity owners of the company put it on sale after Ted Forstmann, founding partner of Forstmann Little, died in 2011.

At the same time, California-based Advanstar had been beefing up its presence in the Manhattan fashion scene. The company brought in magazine executive Tom Florio as CEO of Advanstar Fashion Group and last month named Tommy Fazio, a veteran of the retail sector, as president of PROJECT and menswear. Both are based in New York.

Financial sponsors  of Advanstar Global include Anchorage Capital Group LLC, Ares Management LLC, and Veronis Suhler Stevenson.

Reach Joe Loggia at (310) 857-7500 or jloggia@advanstar.com; Tom Nastos at (212) 759-8055 or tnastos@enk.com; Tom Florio at (212) 951-6617 or tflorio@advanstar.com