Hyve shareholders endorse acquisition by Providence Equity Partners

UK-based  international exhibition organiser Hyve Group shareholders have voted in favour of the exhibition company’s acquisition by Heron Bidco, with funds from Providence Equity Partners. Shareholders voted 87% in favour of the offer on 3 May.

Providence Equity Partners agreed a deal to acquire Hyve for 108p a share in March. In April, Searchlight Capital Partners bought a 40% stake in Heron UK Bidco Ltd, the acquisition vehicle for the deal.

The consortium increased its offer to 121 pence per share, after significant shareholders said they felt the initial price undervalued the business.

The terms of the Increased and Final Offer values Hyve at approximately £524m on an enterprise value basis, approximately 22.1 times Hyve’s EBITDA for the 12 months to 30 September 2022.

Shares in the London-based company, which organises 33 in-person events across 11 countries and employs more than 600 people in 10 offices, jumped on the first news of the offer. The Hyve directors and a major shareholder Strategic Value Partners, which holds 16.4% of Hyve, had committed to voting in favour of the takeover from the start.

Providence Equity, founded by Jonathan Nelson in 1989 and based in Providence, Rhode Island, has invested more than $32bn (£26.5bn) in more than 170 companies.

Hyve made revenues of £122.5m last year, up from £21.8m in 2021, and a pre-tax profit of £11.5m.

In a statement to the London Stock Exchange, Hyve said: “Hyve Group plc is pleased to announce that, at the Court Meeting and General Meeting in connection with the recommended cash offer for the entire issued and to be issued ordinary share capital of Hyve by Bidco, all of the resolutions proposed were duly passed.

“The scheme was approved by the requisite majority on a poll vote at the Court Meeting held at 10.00 a.m. on 3 May 2023. A majority in number of the scheme shareholders who voted (and who were entitled to vote), either in person or by proxy, representing over 75% in value of the scheme shares held by such scheme shareholders present and voting, voted to approve the scheme.”

Completion of the acquisition remains subject to conditions set out in the scheme document. The Scheme Court Hearing is scheduled to take place on 18 May.