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CEVA ShowfreightUnit 3A, National Exhibition CentreBirmingham, B40 1PJUnited Kingdom Tel: +44 (0)121 782 8888 Mobile: +44 (0) 7900 165 279Fax: +44 (0)121 782 2875mark.bristoll@cevalogistics.comAEO Excellence Awards Winnerswww.cevalogistics.com2011 - Official Contractor / 2011 - Supplier Teamwe can certainlyhelp with one of them 5EditorialPublishing Director Liz AgostiniManaging Editor Nadia Cameron Deputy Editor Antony Reeve-CrookStaff Writer Domenic DonatantoniodigitalOnline Editor Sarah O'DonnellAdvertising Manager Jamie LininSubScriptionSCirculation Executive Tim Pardingtonproduction & dESign Production Manager Luke SpaldingDesigner Sarah GarlandProduction Assistant Julia Ball contact uSSubscriptions 020 8971 8268Editorial 020 8971 8292Sales 020 8971 8265 Production 020 8971 8272Published by Mash Media 4th Floor, Sterling House6-10 St George's Road London SW19 4DPTel: +44 (0)20 8971 82821 year's subscription cost is UK £95+VAT p/a Europe £112+VAT ROW £130+VAT.Views expressed are not necessarily those of the publishers. No part of this publication may be reproduced without the express written permission of the publishers.Printed by Pensord Press Ltd. here would today's exhibition entrepreneurs be without the acquisition follies of 2006/2007?My first thought, when I heard that Ocean's former owners had bought back the business, was of Mark Moloney's acquisition of Professional Beauty from Emap Connect. After selling the show to Emap for £20m in 2006, Moloney re-acquired the business 18 months ago for a song and has returned the show to its former glory.It appears Moloney isn't the only one willing to go back to the past to find his future calling. Exhibition industry veteran David Moran and his private equity partner Ion Equity have willingly admitted they are going back to Ocean because they believe they have the ability to grow the group again. Moran has already proved he can turn businesses around for a significant profit. At the helm of the Inside Communications management team in 2006, he acquired Trinity Mirror's exhibitions and magazine portfolio as part of a management buyout for £41.5m. Under the new Ocean Media Group brand, he then sold the business to AAC Capital Partners 18 months later for a cool £104m. Moran has several other multi-million pound media sales under his belt. For example, he also acquired Media Ventures for £3.5m and sold that company for £22m. More recently, Moran sold a majority stake in his Scoop International fashion show venture to ITE for an undisclosed sum - just 10 months after Scoop launched. Financial details of Moran and Ion's purchase have not been disclosed, but given Ocean has spent years under the cloud of a multi-million pound debt (estimated at £60m) and was subsequently put on the block to clear that debt, I'm assuming it's a lot less than last time. There are several savvy entrepreneurs who have managed to attain significant multiples on shows and businesses in the past 20 years, but according to the industry representatives we spoke to for this month's feature on buying and selling, those deals are far and few between at the moment. Given the maturity of the UK exhibition market and the entrepreneurial nature of this industry's leaders, most organisers are now looking to international ventures for growth. Of the acquisitions made locally in recent years, most have arguably been strategic, bolt-on deals. Of course, that's not to say UK organisers can't achieve significant multiples on their exhibitions today if they've got something someone else wants. Just look at David Wood and UBM's £50m acquisition of Ecobuild. So the next question is: Can Moran give Ocean a new lease on life? I for one certainly expect him to. Like Moloney, Moran was the heartbeat of the Ocean team during his time there and is well-respected by his peers. Ocean still has something to offer, despite the loss of its Boat and Caravan Show, and with its former leader back in the driving seat, the future is much brighter. Of course, I can't help but wonder just how these serial entrepreneurs do it. We can't blame everything on the former eagerness of Emap or AAC Capital Partners to spend more than they should on exhibitions in the future.Like me, I'm sure most of you would love the opportunity to pick the brains of Moran and Wood right now to find out just what other businesses and exhibition ideas they believe are the goldmines of the future.It appears Moloney isn't the only one willing to go back to the past to find his future callingNADIA CAMERON MANAGING EDITORncameron@mashmedia.netFINDING THE FuTuRE IN THE PASTW