HgCapital in £50m events MBO

Property group Earls Court & Olympia has sold independent UK exhibition business Clarion to the European private equity firm.

London-headquartered HgCapital has backed the £50 million (€72 million; $92 million) management buyout of Clarion Events from UK property group Earls Court & Olympia.

Clarion is an independent UK events and exhibition business with a portfolio of 30 business and consumer shows. The company has 120 employees and turned over £35 million last year.

Indigo Capital provided mezzanine finance for the transaction and debt facilities were arranged by Royal Bank of Scotland.

The transaction is the second investment by HgCapital’s media team in the last ten months, following the £84 million take-private of music publisher Boosey & Hawkes plc in December 2003, when it beat off competition from a consortium comprising Stirling Square and European Acquisition Capital.

Last week, the firm’s German office bought a 46 percent stake in DocMorris, a Dutch mail-order pharmacy company for an undisclosed sum

HgCapital, which was part of Merrill Lynch Investment Managers in London until a management-led buyout in December 2000, currently manages some €1.3 billion on behalf of more than 200 institutional investors.