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M&Awww.exhibitionnews.co.uk 15STONELEIGH EVENTS The most flexible indoor and outdoor venue in the country.Want to know more?www.stoneleighpark.comTel: 0844 847 6685Email: sales@stoneleighpark.comEXHIBITIONSCONFERENCESBANQUETSTEAM BUILDINGACCOMMODATIONOUTDOOR EVENTSStoneleigh CN Advert June 219x72mm.indd 107/06/2011 13:52DEALMAKERSSustainable building construction, learning and tequila take centre stage in Steve Monnington's latest mergers and acquisitions round-upt has been a little quieter on the M&A front as people take their summer holidays but the acquisition of International Business Events, organiser of Ecobuild, by UBM's Built Environment division generated significant noise nonetheless. David Wood and Moira Edwards have built a fantastic brand that has shown rapid growth over the last few years to become the world's largest exhibition dedicated to sustainable building products. Ecobuild has long been on the shopping list of a number of the major organisers and it has taken a hefty price of up to £51m, including deferred consideration, to unlock it. This is the largest amount paid for a single show for some time and UBM seems to have justified the price with expectations of continued high growth by doubling in size over the next four years, as well as a comprehensive geo-cloning plan covering China, Brazil, India and the UAE.CloserStill Media has added to the recent acquisitions of Cloud Expo from Red Publishing in the UK (April 2011) and the European Bio Energy Expo from Biofuels Media (also in April) with the purchase of technology education conference player Learning Without Frontiers. In line with its usual business model, Learning Without Frontiers founder Graham Brown-Martin has joined CloserStill as an ongoing minority shareholder. The acquired event, which focuses on the use of mobile, video game and social media to drive learning practices, is extremely synergistic with Learning Technologies, which was acquired by CloserStill as its second-ever investment in May 2009. Therefore it's no surprise to see that the two events are to be co-located in 2012. CloserStill continues to find under-the-radar businesses with innovative management who are happy to continue to drive their events forward for the new owners in the expectation that they will realise additional capital value for their remaining stake somewhere down the line.We have seen a lot of acquisition activity in Turkey over recent months but this has all centred on Istanbul, where there are three main exhibition centres that host a large variety of exhibitions. Ankara has always been the poor relation to Istanbul when it comes to the exhibition sector. This is to be expected given that Istanbul is the business centre of Turkey but Ankara's position hasn't been helped by a severe lack of suitable indoor permanent exhibition space.The new Ankara Convention and Exhibition Centre will start to redress the balance. Although it is primarily a conference centre, there is also a 10,400sqm exhibition hall and plans for further expansion. GL Events and Serenas, a Turkish PCO, won the tender to run the centre and GL Events has also announced the acquisition of 70 per cent of Serenas. Finally, an acquisition that I wish we could have brokered. The IWSC Group, organiser of the International Wine and Spirit Competition and the Cathay Pacific Hong Kong International Wine and Spirit Competition, acquired The Polished Palate in the US. The Polished Palate has been organising the market-leading Spirits of Mexico tequila tasting festivals since 2005. Its flagship event is Spirits of Mexico San Diego: The oldest, largest and most comprehensive festival for agave and other Mexican spirits in North America. It is held every year in mid-September to coincide with Mexican Independence Day and attracts more than 80 tequila brands and at least 2,500 consumers. Can you imagine the due diligence done on that one?- Steve Monnington is the MD of Mayfield Media Strategies. I