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CloserStill was formed by the management team who sold Ithaca Business Media for £14m in 2007. NVM backed the Ithaca management buy-out back in 2005, so were delighted to be supporting Andy Center and his team again with their new initiative
Business-to-business (B2B) exhibition, events and media group.
CloserStill was partially sold, representing a 4x money multiple and 43% IRR for NVM. NVM re-invested £5m to remain a shareholder.
To acquire or launch a series of small exhibitions in high growth vertical markets.
The CloserStill team identified an appetite amongst major media groups to acquire mid-sized exhibition businesses: exhibitions and events are seen as an effective face-to-face counterpoint to online marketing media. At the time of the launch of CloserStill there was a dearth of target companies of this nature following recent consolidation within the exhibition and B2B events industry.
Subsequent to the original investment in 2008, CloserStill built a portfolio of major exhibitions in the UK, principally in the healthcare and technology sectors.
All the events have grown strongly based on the team’s ability to build clear, well-structured propositions which they then support with very high quality content. Under CloserStill’s management many of their shows have become leaders within their vertical markets and continue to go from strength-to-strength.
In 2011, NVM backed Andy and the team again with investment of £3m to launch Closer2.
In May 2012, both CloserStill and Closer2 were partially sold to Phoenix Equity Partners to drive further acquisitions and launches across the UK and overseas. NVM retains a 10% equity stake in the business.
In March 2015, NVM supported the team for the fifth time over the past ten years following the sale of the business to Inflexion Private Equity. This represented a full exit for Phoenix and a partial exit for NVM – who re-invested £5m and will continue as a shareholder of the events company.