Sign in or Register
 
 
Exhibition News Race Day
Register today to receive each issue absolutely FREE!




EN Race Day debate to tackle free content...

Garry Tyson scooped the gong for Best Organiser Salesperson at this...

“North West must stand united”...

Exhibition News September 2014
September 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
EN Race Day review
posted on: 23/9/2014 12:14:37
The threat of online content reducing the need for show content was one of the key topics debated at the latest Exhibition News Race Day.

Show organiser ICHF Events has reported more than 15,000 visitors at its autumn crafts show, run alongside Woman’s Weekly Live.

AECC again secures gold green tourism award
posted on: 22/9/2014 16:53:03
Aberdeen Exhibition and Conference Centre (AECC) has retained Gold accreditation from the Green Tourism Programme following a recent audit.

lunch! to feature 300 exhibitors
posted on: 22/9/2014 16:17:10
Diversified’s lunch! show for the £14.9bn UK market is expecting 6,000 attendees and 300 exhibitors ahead of its opening at the Business Design Centre in London on 23 September.

Dallas to join EICC as new chief exec
posted on: 22/9/2014 16:09:03
Marshall Dallas has been appointed as the new chief executive of the Edinburgh International Conference Centre (EICC). He joins the company on 1 October succeeding Hans H Rissmann who has held the role for 21 years.