The management of BBC Haymarket Exhibitions led by current MD Laura Biggs has negotiated a buy out of the business, with the company set to change its name to River Street Events.
BBC Haymarket Exhibitions is a joint venture between Haymarket’s exhibitions division and BBC Worldwide that stages some of the country’s leading consumer exhibitions, including the BBC Good Food Show and BBC Gardeners’ World Live.
Launched in 1990, BBC Haymarket Exhibitions has grown from a small subsidiary of the company to become a market leader in UK consumer exhibitions.
Following the deal, Haymarket Media will continue to run its consumer exhibition portfolio under the leadership of its managing director, Gavin Brown.
“We have long enjoyed a great partnership with BBC Worldwide running a very successful jointly owned exhibition business,” said Kevin Costello, CEO of Haymarket Media Group. “As part of the ongoing Haymarket strategy, the time has come for Haymarket to focus on its solely owned brands.
“We are pleased that as part of this process, Laura Biggs, who has been MD of this business for the last eight years, is able to take over the running of this business and we wish Laura and the team every success for the future.
“We will continue to run our highly successful exhibition portfolio which includes market leading shows such as Autosport International, Clothes Show Live and Cereals.”
The acquisition of BBC Haymarket Exhibitions has been funded by Laura Biggs, and outside investors Keith Harris and Paul Michael from Quartz along with Turret Media, an Abu Dhabi-based media investment group.
“I am delighted that BBC Worldwide and Haymarket have given me and my fellow shareholders and directors the opportunity to be able take over the BBC Haymarket Exhibitions portfolio,” said Biggs. “I have a great passion for these shows and I very much look forward to continuing to be part of this fantastic business in the future.”
River Street Events will be based in Kingston-upon-Thames.
“The investors have known Laura for many years and are delighted to be backing her and her team,” said new River Street Events chairman Keith Harris. “We look forward to growing the business and cloning the events both in the UK and overseas.”
The BBC Gardeners' World and BBC Good Food Show saw a visitor rise for their summer shows.
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