Toronto-Based
 Private Equity Firm Onex Agrees to Buy Nielsen Expositions for $950 Million

TSE STAFF

Toronto, ON – Onex Corporation, the largest private equity firm in Canada, today announced that it has agreed to acquire Nielsen Holding’s trade show unit, Nielsen Expositions, for $950 million in a deal that is expected to close in June. Nielsen produces more than 65 trade shows each year in sectors including general merchandise, sports, hospitality and retail design. The company generated revenues of $183 million last year and EBITDA (adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization) of $97 million. Revenue for the trade show unit in Q1 totaled $57 million  and generated EBITDA of $32 million.

The company is honored consistently each year by Trade Show Executive as one of the organizers with the greatest number of largest shows (The Trade Show Executive Gold 100) as well as the fastest-growing shows (The Trade Show Executive Fastest 50). This year is no exception:  with four Fastest 50 shows in 2012, Nielsen was tied for second place as one of the organizers with the greatest number of the Fastest 50 shows.

Here is what David Loechner, president & CEO of Nielsen Expositions, told his staff.

“Today, I am pleased to inform you that Onex has agreed to acquire our Expositions business; the sale is expected to close in the second quarter. Onex was founded in 1984 and is one of the oldest and most successful private equity firms committed to acquiring and building high-quality businesses in partnership with talented management teams. Expositions will operate as an independent, stand-alone entity, and I will serve as CEO of the new company.

“Onex shares the values and operating philosophy of our Expositions business and senior management team. During this transition, we will operate our business as usual and I don’t expect any changes to staffing or structure as a result of this acquisition. In addition, there will not be any visible impact to our customers, internal operations or the short or long term strategies of our business. Existing client, vendor and partner agreements, and client contacts within the Expositions business will remain in place and transition seamlessly to the new company.”

Loechner thanked his staff for their focus, dedication and commitment to the success of their customers during the past few months of media speculation about the possible sale. He said he would visit each office in the next few weeks as well as hold a town hall in late Spring to answer additional questions. He also supplied Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) and their responses:

What is the rationale for selling off Nielsen Expositions’ business?
While Expositions has been an important and valuable contributor to Nielsen, it is non-core to understanding consumers. This decision enables Nielsen to strengthen its investments in their core Watch and Buy businesses, providing information and insights into what consumers watch and buy around the globe.”

When is the transaction expected to close?
The transaction is expected to close in the Second Quarter, subject to customary closing conditions.

What happens to employees affected by the transaction?
Onex has agreed that management and staff members associated with the Expositions business will transfer to the new company.”

Who is Onex?
With offices in Toronto, New York and London, Onex was founded in 1984 and is one of the oldest and most successful private equity firms committed to acquiring and building high-quality businesses in partnership with talented management teams. Onex has approximately $15 billion of assets under management, including $5 billion of proprietary capital, in private equity, credit securities and real estate.”

Reach David Loechner, president and CEO of Nielsen Expositions, at (949) 226-5700 or david.loechner@nielsen.com; Kristie Bouryal, senior vice president, global communications, (646) 654-5577or kristie.bouryal@nielsen.com