Emerging market focus takes Tarsus back to Turkey

Tuesday, Jun 07 2011 by
Emerging market focus takes Tarsus back to Turkey

Douglas Emslie, the chief executive of business-to-business media and exhibitions group Tarsus (LON:TRS), has been waiting 13 years for the right moment to get a foothold in the strategic Turkish market. With an improving economy, a strengthening share price and a strategy now focused on emerging market opportunities, Emslie has finally made his move.

In May, Tarsus set out plans to buy IFO, one of Turkey’s largest events operators, in a £10 million deal that has just been approved by shareholders. The acquisition is the largest that the £110 million cap company has made since before the credit crunch signalling increasing confidence in the global economic rebound. The move is being funded with a £16 million share placing with an element of the new cash earmarked for bolt-on purchases to further consolidate fragmented markets.

Tarsus is already enjoying significant success with businesses as diverse as labelling in Europe and discount clothing in America but latterly opportunities in emerging markets have become the focus, where the company is on course to derive half its revenues from by 2013. For Emslie, IFO is the latest in a series of international acquisitions designed to profit from sectors and geographies undergoing fundamental market changes.

With the IFO deal on the cusp of completion, Emslie is aiming to take advantage of improving economic conditions to leverage the company’s portfolio into a position of strength in its key markets. If the Tarsus management team can continue to grow the business internationally in an earnings enhancing fashion, the current valuation discount to its peers may increasingly be questioned. Tarsus currently trades on a 2011 P/E multiple of just over 9 times consensus 2011 forecast earnings compared to 16 times for UK listed peer ITE (LON:ITE).

Douglas, Tarsus has spent the last 13 years building a portfolio of events and media businesses. Can you give me an overview of your portfolio and the company’s growth strategy over that time?

We originally came from Blenheim, which was the largest independent exhibition organiser in the world and which got sold to United Business Media (LON:UBM) for £600 million in 1996. Blenheim was a business with over 250 exhibitions in 50 market sectors in over 20 countries. What we wanted…

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ITE Group plc is engaged in the organization of international trade exhibitions and conferences. The Company's geographical segments include Russia, Central Asia, Eastern and Southern Europe, Asia and Rest of the World. The Company specializes in producing exhibitions and conferences that advance business and economic development by connecting buyers and suppliers from around the world. Its events are a platform for commercial growth for a range of business opportunities, and for providing market knowledge and industry information. In addition to event programs, the Company provides a digital platform and product directory to connect professionals in the building and interiors sector called WorldBuild365 (www.worldbuild365.com). Its products range from specialist conferences to trade fairs. It offers services to sectors, such as food, drink and hospitality; travel and tourism; engineering and industrial; transport and logistics; security and protection, and healthcare and medical. more »

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UBM plc is a business-to-business (B2B) event organizer. The Company's segments include Events and Other Marketing Services. In total, the Company serves over 50 different communities. The Company operates in over 20 countries. Events segment provide face-to-face interaction in the form of exhibitions, tradeshows, conferences and other live events. Other Marketing Services segment includes Marketing Services-Online and Marketing Services-Print. Marketing Services-Online business provides Website sponsorships and banner advertising, as well as online directory and data products. Marketing Services-Print business publishes magazines and trade press to specialist markets. The Company serves a range of sectors, including manufacturing and technology, brand licensing, fashion and jewelry, food and agriculture, leisure and hospitality, lifestyle, pharma and healthcare, transport and logistics, and other. more »

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Tarsus Group plc is an integrated media group primarily engaged in exhibitions, along with associated conferences, publishing, education and Internet activities. The principal activity of the Company is the holding of investments. The Company operates through three segments: EMEA, Americas, and Asia. The main activities of all segments are the production of exhibitions supported by other media activities related to those exhibitions. Its key brands include the Dubai Airshow, Labelexpo, OFFPRICE, Zuchex, AAITF and Tarsus Medical. more »

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