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


Sales Executive
Midlands

Sales & Project Manager
South East

Head of Shows Operations
Central, London

Sales Director
Central, London



EN catches up with Eventsforce CEO George Sirius as the event...

EN speaks to graphic design film industry specialists, What is Bobo,...

JMT Indisplay is a specialist provider of designer furniture and...

Exhibition News January 2015
January 2015

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 unveils new Eco Award
posted on: 23/1/2015 14:28:07
Ahead of the deadline for entries for the ninth annual Exhibition News Awards, EN managing editor Jamie Wallis has spoken of the importance of the new EN Eco Award.

SECC Burns Supper success
posted on: 23/1/2015 14:13:11
The Scottish Exhibition and Conference Centre (SECC) brought a taste of all things Scottish to 220 guests, who were invited to celebrate Burns Night at the Natural History Museum on 22 January.

Survival expert Ray Mears has been axed by organiser NCC as a speaker at the caravan show, after calling motorhomes "hideous" on television.

CWM FX London Boat Show celebrates 61 years
posted on: 22/1/2015 14:21:01
The 61st CWM FX London Boat Show drew to a close on 18 January with a host of famous faces among the 92,288 visitors at Excel London.

Event Tech Lab debuts at Google Campus
posted on: 22/1/2015 14:15:25
More than 100 event professionals descended on Google Campus on 20 January for the launch of Event Tech Lab.