Private equity firm Wasserstein Partners has acquired
Northstar Travel Group from The Wicks Group of Companies. The terms of the deal
were not disclosed.
Parent company of Business
Travel News, Travel Procurement and The Beat, Northstar is the leading
provider of business-to-business information, content, events, data, research,
custom content and software dedicated to the global travel and meetings
industries. In addition to The BTN Group brands, Northstar owns travel industry
research firm Phocuswright, several database businesses and a host of meetings
industry and leisure travel media brands: Travel
Weekly, Travel Age West, Successful Meetings, Meetings & Conventions, and Incentive.
Northstar extended its properties globally in recent years
with M&C China and by acquiring Travel Weekly China and Singapore-based
event producer Web in Travel. Northstar has grown its conference business to 50
face-to-face events in 13 countries.
Anup Bagaria, co-managing partner of Wasserstein, credited
the media group’s growth and innovation strategy as critical to the
“We are very impressed with the growth of Northstar Travel
Group over the last few years,” he said. “The management team has done an
excellent job of transforming its core business into an integrated information,
data, software, event and marketing solutions company.”
Wasserstein partner Michael Struble added, “We are excited
about investing in the [Northstar’s] continued transformation and growth
through geographic expansion, new product development and strategic
Northstar Chairman and CEO Thomas Kemp pointed to new
opportunities precipitated by the Wasserstein partnership and thanked previous
owner, Wicks, for guiding the company to its current success.
“We are excited to welcome Wasserstein as our new partner to
provide the capital and investment experience to help Northstar achieve our
next phase of growth serving one of the largest and most dynamic industries in
the world: global travel and tourism,” he said. “Wicks has been a great partner
to the company, and we thank them for providing guidance and insight over the
last four years.”
Harris Williams & Co. represented Northstar Travel Group
in the transaction and acted as its exclusive financial advisor. Morgan, Lewis
& Bockius LLP provided legal advice.
Macquarie Capital provided financing and acted as
financial advisor to Wasserstein on the transaction. Jones Day served as legal
advisor to Wasserstein.