Advanstar to be sold to private equity firm

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Business-to-business publisher and trade show producer Advanstar Communications Inc. has entered into a definitive agreement to be acquired by an investor group led by private equity firm Veronis Suhler Stevenson for approximately $1.142 billion in cash.

Advanstar, New York, is currently owned by private equity fund DLJ Merchant Banking Partners III L.P. It produces 87 events, 60 publications and directories and 128 electronic publications and Web sites in the fashion and licensing, life sciences and power sports industries.

Some of its properties include the MAGIC family of apparel trade shows as well as the publications Pharmaceutical Executive and Motor Age.

In April 2005, Advanstar sold five divisions to Questex Media Group, Newton, MA, for $185 million. That deal included the company's technology, travel, portfolio, beauty and home entertainment groups, which consist of 23 trade publications, 50 Web sites, 21 exhibitions and 25 conferences. Soon after that deal was announced, the company said it was exploring strategic alternatives, including a possible sale of the company.

VSS, New York, is joined in the transaction by Citigroup Private Equity and New York Life Capital Partners. The deal is expected to close in the second quarter of 2007.

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