Questex Sold to Equity Group; New Leadership Named

HIL ANDERSON, SENIOR EDITOR
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NEW YORK – Questex, LLC has been acquired by a New York private-equity firm and will be run by new corporate leadership with roots in the exhibitions industry and plans to make good use of the company’s assets beyond its events portfolio.

MidOcean Partners acquired Questex Intermediate Holdings from Shamrock Capital in a transaction announced Sept. 12. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Kerry Gumas, Founder and CEO of Questex, will remain with the company as Senior Advisor. The company will be run by David Kieselstein, Chairman of MidOcean’s private equity executive board, who will also chair the Questex board. Paul Miller will step in as CEO.

“I am looking forward to handing over the baton of daily leadership in the coming weeks to my longtime colleague in the industry, Paul Miller,” Gumas said. “I am confident that under Paul’s dynamic leadership, Questex will continue to innovate, accelerate growth and provide enhanced service and value to our customers.”

Kieselstein is a former CEO of Penton, which was acquired by Informa plc in 2016. Miller was previously CEO of the UBM Technology Group, President of Penton’s Industry Group and President of Informa’s Industry & Infrastructure Intelligence Group.

Despite their roots in trade shows, early indications were that the new ownership valued Questex’s strong portfolio of B2B marketing and media properties, which includes well-known titles such as American Salon, Hotel Management and Fierce Markets. “As opposed to narrowcast events-only businesses, MidOcean believes in the value of surrounding a market with integrated event and media assets,” Kieselstein said. “We focus on the customer journey, from discovery and awareness on through to consideration and purchase. The breadth of Questex’s assets in each of their markets allows them to support both their audience and marketers through each step of that journey.”

Questex currently runs a portfolio of 125 trade shows, hosted-buyer events, and conferences. Its shows include the International Beauty Shows brand, Nightclub & Bar and the Sensors Expo & Conference, which earned a spot on the most recent Trade Show Executive Fastest 50.

Reach David Kieselstein at (212) 497-1407 or dkieselstein@midoceanpartners.com; Kerry Gumas at (617) 219-8300 or kgumas@questex.com; Paul Miller at (617) 219-8300 or pmiller@questex.com