London – UK-based media group Emap has announced a major restructure that will see its business operations split and rebranded into three distinct operating companies covering events, information services and publishing.
Emap Connect, the exhibition, large-scale conferences and events division that accounts for 44% of the total group’s turnover, will now be rebranded i2i Events Group with a focus on global growth. The i2i business is being led by Mark Shashoua, who was appointed MD of Emap Connect last November.
Emap as a whole is being rebranded as the Top Right Group to reflect the structural change and the organization’s long-term growth and high performance aspirations. Media commentators have also pointed out the restructure paves the way for a potential sell-off of any one of the three divisions.
Its information services business, including WGSN and Customer Insight, will now be known as 4C Group. Stephen Wilson, the former Thomson Reuters global head of exchange traded instruments, will join 4C Group on 10 April to lead the business.
The Emap brand will be retained by the group’s now stand alone publishing and associated events business, led by Natasha Christie-Miller.
Top Right Group CEO Duncan Painter said the decision to split into independent operating entities was about creating a culture that encourages growth. Each unit will be responsible for its own investments and its future.
“We’re devolving responsibility from the center and will give our new operating companies the freedom to be more independent, agile and single-minded in pursuit of these objectives,” Painter said. “They will develop their own distinct strategies, focused on customer needs and our strongest brands, with the aim of delivering better services and sustainable top-line growth. From a small center, the group function will play a background role as a catalyst for change and expansion, particularly internationally,” he said.
I2i’s portfolio includes a host of exhibitions and live event brands including BETT, World Retail Congress, Spring Fair International, RWM, BVE Expo, Pure London and Naidex. The group also manages the Lions Festivals.
Shashoua’s immediate focus is to build an international sales team and seek expansion opportunities in fast-growing overseas markets with a particular focus on China, Latin America and Singapore.
Emap was acquired by Eden Bidco, a joint venture between Apax and Guardian Media Group in 2008.
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