Friday, December 20, 2013

Emerald Expositions to Acquire GLM for 335 Million

Emerald Expositions, Inc. (Emerald) and George Little Management LLC (GLM) announced today that Emerald has agreed to acquire GLM from Providence Equity Partners (Providence) for $335 million, subject to certain adjustments at, and after, closing.

GLM creates face-to-face buying, selling and networking platforms for designers, product developers, manufacturers, retailers and operators through more than 20 leading tradeshows including four of the largest 100 trade shows in the U.S. GLM's tradeshows serve industries as diverse as home furnishings, home textiles, stationery and paper products, giftware, tabletop, gourmet housewares, contemporary furniture and interiors, personal care, art & design, antiques & jewelry, fashion, board sports & resort lifestyle, and e-commerce. GLM has approximately 130 employees and operates out of six U.S. offices. 

David Loechner, Chief Executive Officer of Emerald, said, "GLM is a truly outstanding tradeshow company with an exciting portfolio and an experienced and talented workforce. This acquisition expands upon our position as a leading tradeshow organizer in the United States. I am excited about the opportunities for customers and employees of both companies that will result from bringing these two high-quality portfolios together." 

Charles McCurdy, Chief Executive Officer of GLM, said, "This transaction demonstrates the strength of GLM's shows that have grown successfully thanks to the effectiveness of the GLM team and Providence's support. This is a compelling opportunity going forward for GLM and its stakeholders, and I wish David Loechner and his team the best of luck as they seek to further expand GLM's product offerings and accelerate growth." 

Michael Dominguez, a Managing Director at Providence, said "Charlie's leadership and the dedication of the entire management team were integral to the success of this investment. We're fortunate to have had the opportunity to partner with GLM to accelerate growth, launch new products and make acquisitions that increased the breadth of its shows. We believe GLM has a bright future as part of Emerald Expositions." 

The transaction is anticipated to close in January 2014, subject to customary regulatory approvals. The acquisition will be funded with approximately $200 million of debt and a $140 million equity investment from Onex Partners III. Emerald was acquired by Onex Partners III in June 2013. 

BofA Merrill Lynch is serving as lead financial advisor, Morgan Stanley & Co. LLC is serving as financial advisor and Fried Frank is serving as legal advisor to Emerald. Credit Suisse is serving as financial advisor and Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP is serving as legal advisor to GLM for the transaction. Latham & Watkins LLP is serving as legal advisor to the financing sources for Emerald on the transaction.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Giftware News' Insider Look Book December Digital Issue is now Available
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AmericasMart Accelerates Gourmet, Housewares And Tabletop Growth

AmericasMart’s Gourmet & Housewaresand Living & Entertaining: Gifts, Tabletop & Accessories collections will extend its commitment to the culinary community with a new signature event at The Atlanta International Gift & Home Furnishings Market in January 2014.

“Tabletop and Housewares items are definitely in demand and on trend for a broad range of retailers,” says Kristi Forbes, vice president of gourmet, housewares, tabletop & gift. “AmericasMart’s continued leadership in this segment has allowed us to increase the depth and breadth of our lines and to further support the culinary community.”

Driving the growth in AmericasMart’s Gourmet & Housewares collection is an expanded showroom for Sherry Matthews Marketing LLC and new showrooms for Chef’N Corporation, Gourmac, Magefesa USA, Typhoon Homewares LLC and Lancaster Commercial Products LLC.

The Living & Entertaining: Gifts, Tabletop & Accessories collection is highlighted by new showroom growth alongside expansions, relocations and updates of longtime AmericasMart exhibitors. Joining the collection for the January Market are Spartina 449 and Julia Knight, Inc. Welcome Home, LLC and Rosse & Associates, Inc. expand their spaces as Jason Products Ltd. and Keller-Charles of Philadelphia relocate to Floor 8. Exciting exhibitor updates include a completely redesigned showroom for Jay Strongwater/ MacKenzie-Childs and new owners for Lazy Susan USA Inc.

AmericasMart confirms its commitment to the culinary community with a new special event “Culinary Futures: Helping Tomorrow’s Professional Grow” to raise funds for Les Dames d’Escoffier International – Atlanta Chapter, a philanthropic society dedicated to fostering women in culinary and hospitality professions. The event, hosted in partnership with Cook’s Warehouse, Harold Import Co. and Dugan Bliss, features a cocktail hour and silent auction and is open to all buyers and exhibitors. It takes place onThursday, January 9 from 6 - 8 p.m. in the Fashion Theater on Building 3 Floor 15. Single tickets are $75, each additional is $50. Tickets will be available for purchase at door.

AmericasMart’s internationally renowned Gourmet, Housewares and Tabletop collection is brought to life by live cooking demonstrations from national culinary stars and presentations by entertaining experts.

Highlights of Market programming include:

• “A Taste of Bacchanalia” presented by Chef Anne Quatrano, executive owner of Bacchanalia, sponsored by Le Creuset. Known for her deep-rooted care for ingredients and technique, Chef Quatrano creates her signature dishes in the new Le Creuset Palm color. Thursday January 9. 2 p.m. Building 2, Floor 8, Demonstration Kitchen.

• “Picture Perfect Parties” presented by Annette Joseph, celebrity entertaining expert and author. “The Today Show” entertaining expert demonstrates her stylish solutions for entertaining with panache. Thursday, January 9. 3 p.m. Building 2, Floor 9, Seminar Room.

• “Marcus Samuelsson’s New American Table” presented by Marcus Samuelsson of Food Network’s “Chopped All Stars: Judges Remix.” Samuelsson shares recipes from his cookbook, “The New American Table,” which takes a journey through the inspired food of the United States, his beloved adopted country. Friday, January 10. 1 p.m. Building 2, Floor 8, Demonstration Kitchen.

• “Wine Tasting with Georg Riedel.” In a unique tasting and glass discussion, Georg Riedel, head of Riedel and 10th generation glassmaker, will demonstrate the relationship between the shape of a glass and perception and enjoyment of wines. Cost is $50 per person. Registration is available at Friday, January 10. 3 p.m.Building 3, Floor 15, Fashion Theatre.

• “Picture Perfect Starters: Straight from the Garden” presented by Annette Joseph, celebrity entertaining expert and author. From extraordinary tablescapes to delicious and easy recipes, Joseph teaches how to create and host a picture perfect party from farm to table featuring easy recipes that are perfect for spring. Saturday, January 11. 1p.m. Building 2, Floor 8, Demonstration Kitchen.

Monday, December 9, 2013

Giftware News' December Digital Magazine is Now Available for Viewing

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Outdoors Takes Center Stage at 2013 International Pool, Spa, Patio Expo

A special report by Giftware News columnist Marilyn Nason

Badmitton sets from Water Sports, LLC (
"The family that plays together stays together" certainly emerged as the overall theme of the annual International Pool, Spa, Patio Expo in mid-November in Las Vegas. In the past few years this show has clearly identified food alone is not the only reason the backyard has become the ideal place for everyone of every age and interest to focus on spending quality time in a lifestyle that increasingly encompasses not only food, but also all-age activities, entertaining and family/friends togetherness.

More varied types of relaxing activities in or near the pool are emerging as not only enjoyable but totally fashionable for the youngest to the oldest to enjoy. Exhibit displays at the show offered countless exciting tips on ways to fully experience backyard living today at its best

Great for young beginners to learn how to play the game of pool with confidence this cue from CueStix International ( features an attached cue ball.

As the 2013 trade show year comes to a close, backyards, patios, the beach and stadium parking for tailgating have all emerged as perfect venues for young and old to enjoy the outdoors.

Cascade" Acrylic Rainbow Drinkware from Merritt International (
For the more athletically and or competitively-inclined, water and backyard sports were shown as diverse as age and ability can conquer, with badminton and other ball sports, darts, table tennis now available in every price range and ability challenge level.

Indicative of consumer interest in expanding their variety of potential activities and entertaining (even on the most modest budget), food preparation and attractive, colorful serveware for the backyard introduced at the show expanded on that already growing category of tailgating and partying items increasingly important at both gift and outdoor trade shows in recent years.

From grills to pizza ovens to rainbow-hued sturdy attractive tableware, thermos and water bottles, the show identified the almost limitless depth and breadth of available items introduced at this show this year as ideal for self-purchases, as well as welcome gift-giving when invited for a backyard party.
Packaged cleaner kits from Flitz International (

Exciting options for outdoor décor included well-designed clocks (some shaped like sailfish and dolphins); barometers, thermometers, humorous signage, fun/functional garden figures and decorative planters.

Not only has home decor become equally important for backyards, but aromatherpy, too, is beginning to play an interesting role as well. Several retailers offered all natural spa and bath crystals/beads, humidifiers, candles and diffusers in dozens of exotic scents.

While every backyard may not include a family room with professional billiard table, those who do found the perfect item to help the novice learn to play pool without destroying the table top-thanks to a specially-designed ball to replace the cue stick tip during the challenging learning period.
Colorful Galaxy balls from TRC Recreation (

Ever mindful of pool safety were several items including lockable wristband for youngsters and headband for swimmers. Not to be outdone by the mattress industry that touts its ability to offer mattresses that retain the shape of the individual sleeper, several exhibitors showed colorful polyethylene nylon and mesh floats almost replicating this same ability to create the floater's shape. Some styles even offered room-for-two space.

Wisely, the industry has not overlooked one critical, ever-present basic of outdoors living/entertaining: cleanup. Exhibitors showed attractively packaged outdoor fabric/metal furniture care kit, as well as BBQ grill care kits, not only perfect for self-use but as welcome gifts.