CMP Media Continues Acquisition Spree

SANDI CAIN, NEWS EDITOR
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Shorecliff Communications, MediaLive International Technology Group Latest to Join CMP

Manhasset, NY—In an ongoing effort to bolster its technology events portfolio, CMP Media acquired Shorecliff Communications, a Mission Viejo, CA-based event organizer serving the RFID, IPTV, broadband and wireless markets. The company also paid $65 million for the events and publication assets of MediaLive International of San Francisco, which produces more than 20 IT and telecommunications conferences each year.

Shorecliff, a former subsidiary of Norfolk, VA-based Landmark Communications, was represented by The Jordan, Edmiston Group, Inc. (JEGI) of New York in the transaction. JEGI vice president of marketing Adam Gross said a Landmark executive led the negotiations for the seller.

United Business Media of London, parent company of CMP, reported the value of the transaction at $12.3 million cash, with a potential earn-out payment of up to $1.9 million.

Shorecliff events are expected to generate roughly $6 million in revenue in 2006, according to United Business Media.

Shorecliff is known for leading-edge conferences that include RFID World, Broadband Wireless World, Tower Summit & Trade Show and TelcoTV Conference & Expo. The shows are expected to enhance CMP’s technology events portfolio that already includes Computer Security Institute, Black Hat and Game Developer Conference.

Tim Downs, president of Shorecliff, will report to CMP’s Enterprise Group, which has offices in California and New York. Shorecliff will continue to operate from its Mission Viejo, CA. offices.

Downs said the first order of business is to leverage CMP’s marketing and event operations outside North America in order to launch more shows overseas.

“That’s something we found very hard to do ourselves,” Downs said. “We were the first to produce an RFID conference in China. Asia is a natural place for the next generation of that business.”

MediaLive’s portfolio includes 20 annual global events in technology markets, including Interop, VoiceCon, Mobile Business Expo and Web 2.0 (with O’Reilly Media). The firm previously produced the COMDEX series of events that were canceled in 2004 and Seybold Seminars, canceled in 2005. However, the company has been successful with its remaining portfolio. Last year, attendance at Media Live events rose 50 percent over 2004.

MediaLive CEO Robert Priest-Heck said the combination of MediaLive and CMP expertise offers technology companies “an extremely powerful partner to help them more closely align their marketing initiatives and sales goals.”

Like Shorecliff, MediaLive’s Technology Media Group will report to Fritz Nelson, senior vice president and group director of CMP Media’s Enterprise Group. It will remain in San Francisco.

As part of the deal, MediaLive operations executives Eric Faurot in North America and Hiroyuki Sugano in Japan will join CMP Media and continue to operate their respective divisions. Priest-Heck will not be coming with the Media Live assets, said Nelson.

“We’re serious about the events business and these acquisitions are demonstrative of that,” Nelson said. “We’re bringing them all together to give our customers the best access to buyers in every stage of the purchasing cycle,” he said.

The acquisitions follow on the heels of several other deals by United Business Media/CMP in 2005. In August, CMP acquired New York City-based Light Reading Inc., an online publisher, for $27 million. Parent company United Business Media last summer also acquired Informex, a U.S.-based trade show focused on the chemical manufacturing industry, for $24 million. That show operates under the CMP Information Division.

JEGI, a middle-market mergers and acquisitions advisor specializing in the media and information industries, also handled those transactions.

Other shows acquired by CMP Media in the past six months include: TechOnLine, for $5.5 million, Incoming Calls Management Institute for $3.75 million; and Black Hat Briefings and Conferences for $10 MIL.

Reach Fritz Nelson, senior vice president and group director, CMP Media Enterprise Group, at (949) 223-3608 or fnelson@cmp.com; Tim Downs, Shorecliff Communications (800) 608-9641 x 209 or tdowns@scievents.com; Adam Gross, vice president of marketing, JEGI (212) 754-0710 or adamg@jegi.com.