Tarsus raising £24m to fund two acquisitions and a partnership

14 September 2018

(Sharecast News) - Business-to-business media company Tarsus Group has agreed to two acquisitions and a strategic partnership, it announced on Friday.
The London-listed firm said it was acquiring the remaining 50% stake in its existing Mexican joint venture, EJK Tarsus Mexico, from E.J. Krause & Associates, for cash consideration of $18m.

It was also acquiring a further 25% interest in AMB Tarsus Exhibitions in South East Asia, taking its overall interest to 75%, and was entering a strategic partnership with Streamline Marketing Group in the United Arab Emirates.

Tarsus also announced that it intended to place new ordinary shares to raise minimum gross proceeds of £24m.

The placing shares were being offered by way of an accelerated bookbuild, which was launched immediately following its announcement on Friday morning.

It said the net proceeds of the placing would be used to fund the $29m combined consideration for the new transactions.

Any remaining proceeds would be used to provide "financial flexibility" in continuing to pursue the company's strategy.

Tarsus' board said it believed that together, the placing and the transactions would be earnings accretive over the biennial cycle.

On the trading front, Tarsus said it was in line with the board's expectations for the period since its interim results on 26 July.

Bookings for the remaining 2018 shows were up 9%, with buyers for the year-to-date ahead 12%, both on a like-for-like basis.

Tarsus said bookings for the large 2019 events were performing well.

"These deals represent an exciting expansion in three of our key territories," said Tarsus group managing director Douglas Emslie.

"In line with our 'Quickening the Pace 2' strategy, we continue to buy in minority interests where there is a compelling business case to do so."

Emslie said Mexico was a "large and fast-growing" market, with the agreement to acquire the remaining 50% interest in EJK Tarsus Mexico representing an "excellent opportunity" for the group to accelerate its growth.

"Through our AMB joint venture Tarsus has successfully expanded its footprint in South East Asia.

"Our acquisition of a further 25% interest in the business allows Tarsus to take control of the operation whilst also retaining the existing entrepreneurial management who will continue to run the business day to day."

Emslie said he was also excited by the prospect of continuing to work with Andrew Siow and the AMB team in South East Asia.

"Andrew is a very experienced exhibition professional with over 30 years' experience launching in the region.

"The agreement to enter into a strategic partnership with SMG in the UAE represents a good bolt-on opportunity to our existing aerospace portfolio.

"I look forward to working with the SMG team to grow the business going forward."