In a move that flipped the yachting world on its head,
Informa Exhibitions, the London-based organizer of the Monaco Yacht Show, announced
today that it has bought Yachting Promotions Inc. (YPI)/Show Management from
Active Interest Media (AIM), which operates the U.S.’s three largest boat shows
— Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show, Yachts Miami Beach, and the Palm
Beach International Boat Show. This $133 million deal also includes the smaller
Suncoast Boat Show in Sarasota and the St. Petersburg Power and Sailboat Show.
This acquisition is part of Informa’s strategy to expand its
Global Exhibitions business in the U.S., making it the world’s leading yacht
show organizer. In a press release from the Monaco Yacht Show, Informa CEO
Charlie McCurdy said, “Acquisitions in key and growing verticals will continue
to be part of our growth strategy going forward as we look for events that
complement what we are doing within vertical markets we have identified as
Efrem “Skip” Zimbalist III, president of Show Management and
chairman of AIM, will stay on to advise Informa Exhibitions during the
transition, and the rest of the YPI team will continue with the company as it
Informa will continue YPI’s active role in the North
American boating and maritime industry, including the International Federation
of Boat Show Organizers (IFSBO), the National Association of Consumer Shows
(NACS), the International Yacht Brokers Association, the National Marine
Manufacturers Association, Sail America, The Marine Industries Association of
Palm Beach County, and the Marine Industries Association of South Florida
“I think that this is a great opportunity for Yachts Miami Beach, and all Florida boat shows for that matter, because the Informa Group owns the Monaco Yacht Show in addition to another two hundred exhibitions in many different industries. It will give our shows visibility to a much larger audience of international clientele, in addition to giving us access to exhibit expertise we may not currently be employing. I see a lot of positive upside for all parties,” says Cindy Sailor, executive director IYBA, which co-owns Yachts Miami Beach.
“It allows FLIBS and the Monaco Yacht Show to work closer together, and we can leverage that for our members,” adds Phil Purcell, executive director of MIASF, which owns the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show. MIASF recently signed a 30-year agreement with Show Management. The acquisition of the organization by Informa does not change anything to this agreement, as “Informa also buys all the agreements and partnerships that come with it,” Purcell says.
The Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show is the largest
of its kind in the world, drawing 100,000 attendees, 1,300 exhibitors, and more
than 1,200 boats every year, an acquisition that nicely complements the Monaco
Yacht Show in Informa’s portfolio.