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


Exhibition and Events Project Manager
Hemel Hempstead

Digital Marketing Assistant
Wimbledon

Area Sales Manager
East Midlands/North East

Event Sales Executive
North London



Should you open your doors to all and sundry or handpick the brands...

When it comes to insurance, it’s easy to be wise after the event....

With further investment in Asia and a thriving business in emerging...

Exhibition News July 2014
July 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
Events services specialist Joe Manby Limited has secured two new business wins, including MIPIM UK, which is being held in London for the first time in October.

UBM Live wins Sticky Wicket 2014
posted on: 28/7/2014 10:32:01
UBM Live came out on top as this year's champions at the fund-raising cricket tournament Sticky Wicket, on 23 July.

Britain for Events launches new initiative
posted on: 25/7/2014 17:00:26
Britain for Events has launched a National Events Month initiative focusing on different sectors of the industry in each of the four focus weeks.

Fresh Montgomery appoints new digital supplier
posted on: 25/7/2014 13:00:10
Following evaluation of the digital solutions available to exhibition organisers, Fresh Montgomery has made the move to run their portfolio of events on the expocms platform.

In the Rough raises £7,000 for charities
posted on: 25/7/2014 10:21:14
In the Rough, the annual charity golf day, sponsored this year by The NEC and held at the Forest of Arden Championship course near Birmingham on 17 July 2014 has raised £7,000 for good causes.