Ad:Tech Sold Amid Online, Conference Boom

Ad:Tech, one of the longest-running and best known online advertising trade shows, has been acquired by DMG World Media, a wholly-owned subsidiary of U.K.-based Daily Mail and General Trust plc, and producer of trade shows, events and related publications, from JD Events, the most recent in a succession of companies to own Ad:Tech since it was launched in 1996.

Terms of the deal, which was handled by investment banker Jordan, Edmiston Group, were not disclosed, but an executive familiar with the transaction estimated DMG paid nearly $20 million for 100 percent of Ad:Tech. The deal is said to include an initial payment of about $16.5 million with another payment scheduled to be made in 2006 based on certain performance criteria.

The deal comes amid a rebound in the online advertising marketplace, and among trade shows, conferences and publishing concerns that rely on it. Online ad spending is estimated to have risen more than 30 percent in 2004 and is projected to rise at a similar rate in 2005, even as the industry diversifies into new forms of advertising and marketing services.



Conferences such as Ad:Tech are also becoming important meeting grounds for marketers, agencies and media providers developing an array of new interactive marketing services, including those that converge media such as online, television and wireless communications devices.

Recent Ad:Tech conferences have attracted up to 200 exhibitors and attendance has been growing.

JD Events will continue managing Ad:Tech initially, while DMG recruits a new sales and management team, to be housed at a newly formed business unit, AD:TECH Expositions LLC, with a new office in San Francisco. Susan Bratton, who has served as Ad:Tech conference chair since 2002, will continue in her same role with DMG. Cindi Gallucci, conference director since 2002, will also remain with Ad:Tech at DMG.

Ad:Tech this year plans to host conferences in San Francisco, Chicago and New York, as well as new shows to be launched in London and Shanghai in 2005.

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