Blackstone acquires majority shareholding in Clarion Events

Russell Wilcox

iGaming Business (Clarion Gaming subsidiary) has today revealed that parent operating company Clarion Events has been acquired by London private equity firm Blackstone.

The industry news source did not reveal any details regarding the sum of acquisition but stated that new owner Blackstone had taken over the majority shareholding from Providence Equity Partners who had acquired the company in 2015 for £200 million.

Clarion Events CEO Russell Wilcox is reported to have sent an email last Friday, notifying staff of the group sale to Blackstone. Wilcox and Clarion governance had been seeking additional investment for group expansion within the corporate events sector.

“Blackstone are one of the largest and most respected private equity investment houses in the world. From the start of this process, it has been clear that they share our expansive vision for how we can grow and develop the company. We’re obviously excited by their resources, their network, and by the many ways in which they’ll be able to support us in the future.” Wilcox commented on the sale.

At present Clarion operates 180 corporate events in 50 territories, with the company having a significant presence within the gambling, defence, energy and sciences sectors.

Current Clarion gambling event and publishing assets include; iGaming Business, the International Casino Exhibition (ICE), iGaming Super Show and EIG Conference.

Confirming the acquisition this morning Lionel Assant, Head of European private equity at Blackstone, stated:

“Clarion’s leading position in its markets combined with its strong management team will enable the company to continue growing both organically and through M&A. Blackstone has a significant track record of investing in media businesses as well as buy and build platforms. We look forward to working together with management to capitalise on its success.”

Article Update: The Financial Times would this afternoon report that Blackstone private equity had acquired Clarion Events for a reported £600 million. 

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