Sign in or Register | Newsletter
 
 
Register today to receive each issue absolutely FREE!


Data Manager
Wimbledon

Sales Manager
Farnborough

Sales Manager
London

Sponsorship Manager
London



Stephane Doutriaux founder of event tech company Poken tells EN how...

EN editor Jamie Wallis takes the trip up to Shropshire to have lunch...

Event manager Chris Brazier needs no wake-up call ahead of the 2015...

Exhibition News November 2014
November 2014

Ocean hits back at sell-off claims
posted on: 19/7/2011 12:14:06
iStock 20 pound notes moneyRESIZED

Ocean Media Group’s chief executive has hit back at speculation that the company is being divided up or sold off following a bank takeover.

CEO Trevor Barratt told EN Ocean’s bank assumed control of shareholder equity in March to deal with longstanding issues over Ocean’s balance sheet. The decision arose from the need to tackle the debt owed by the exhibition and publishing company, which is more than its current business value.

EN understands the historic debt to the bank to be about £60m. It has its roots in the November 2007 acquisition of Ocean headed up by investment firm AAC Capital Partners for £104m. According to AAC Partners, Ocean’s turnover at the time was £27m.

Barratt claimed the deal was the right price at the time but admitted businesses are no longer selling at 10x or 12x turnover multiples.

“Our balance sheet is overleveraged and the bank has stepped in to take control of the business and restructure it,” Barratt explained. “This process has not yet been completed.

“The business is not being sold off or our assets broken up. We are a profitable business that has continued to grow even during the downturn. Events have been a very positive part of that and we have continued to grow our exhibitions and launch new shows.

“The area of our business that suffered the most has actually been print and the print recruitment advertising market.”

Barratt said the bank’s decision to step in has no impact on day-to-day operations or management structure across the exhibitions and publishing divisions. Ocean recently announced plans for a new Venue Show to run alongside its Event Production Show in 2012.

“Something needed to happen to deal with the issue. We have a good relationship with Anglo Irish Bank and I am confident this will be resolved in a way that helps our business get to a better place,” Barratt said. “It’s business as usual for us.”

Ocean’s exhibition MD James Brooks-Ward also viewed the bank’s intervention as a positive.

“The banks aren’t going to sell this business for peanuts,” he added. “This is all about retaining the value of the business long-term.”

Send all your UK exhibition industry news to: ncameron@mashmedia.net

 


Print:
Email:
Share article:

COMMENTS
Would you like to Leave a Comment?

LATEST NEWS
Media 10 has extended Manchester’s Ideal Home Show at Christmas to four days next year, following its debut on 14-16 November.

Rapid News completes Interplas acquisition
posted on: 21/11/2014 09:48:15
Niche publishing company Rapid News Communications Group has concluded its purchase of plastics industry exhibition, Interplas, from Reed Exhibitions, for an undisclosed amount.

Almost half of CEOs see internal events as a cost rather than an investment, according to the directors that work for them, revealed communications agency Involve.

Eventbrite opens Manchester office
posted on: 20/11/2014 12:53:06
Global self-service ticketing platform, Eventbrite, has expanded its UK presence with the opening of a new office in Manchester.

New show content for Naidex National
posted on: 19/11/2014 12:34:49
Show organiser i2i Events will launch new OTnews Live feature area in the College of Occupational Therapists (COT) Zone at Naidex National in 2015.