2 Eylül 2011 Cuma

Foreign investors rush to Turkey’s fair mark

Foreign companies are increasingly investing in Turkish fair and exhibition market and this trend will accelerate in the second half of the year, an executive says. DAILY NEWS photo, Hasan ALTINIŞIK

Friday, September 2, 2011
Foreign companies are increasingly investing in Turkish fair and exhibition market and this trend will accelerate in the second half of the year, an executive says

International exhibition companies have rushed to Turkey’s fair and exhibition market in recent years by acquiring major stakes of local firms and the trend could accelerate in the second half of this year, according to the top executive of an international agency.

“Merger and acquisition interest in of foreign companies started about three years ago and has been steadily increasing,” Steve Monnington, founder of Mayfield Media Strategies – a global company that specializes in mergers and acquisitions and strategic business development for the exhibition industry, told the Hüriyet Daily News in a recent interview.

More and more international companies are looking at the Turkish market, Monnington said, adding that Turkey’s continuing prosperity stimulates the interest. The majority of acquisitions take place in emerging markets, such as Brazil, China and Turkey, he added.

Tarsus, the third largest international exhibition organizer in Dubai, last month acquired 75 percent of the shares of Istanbul Fair Organization, or IFO, Monnington said. The company will use IFO as a vehicle for further investments in Turkey, by launching its international exhibition brands into the Turkish market, he said. “They may also make further acquisitions in Turkey.”

IFO is one of the top organizers of elevator and recycling sector fairs in Turkey.

Recalling that Thailand-based UBM had acquired 65 percent of Turkey’s Rotaforte, last year’s organizer for the Istanbul Jewelry Fair, Monnington said the U.K.’s Clarion Events also moved into the Turkish market with the acquisition of Survey Turkey, the organizing firm of Zow, a trade fair for suppliers in the furniture and interiors industry in Istanbul. The acquisition included Buildist, a launch event for the construction sector focusing on design, architecture, innovation and technology in Istanbul.

Moreover, Bolognafiere – one of Italy’s leading exhibition companies, created a sales and marketing partnership between their brand Cosmoprof and Turkey’s Ipekyolu, last year’s organizer of the Beauty Eurasia Show in Istanbul. Germany’s Messe Stuttgart also acquired a majority stake in Turkey’s Ares, whose main show is the international trade fair for bakery, patisserie, ice cream and chocolate machineries.
“In all cases these partnerships have created synergies between the Turkish events and the events already run by the international organizer,” said Monnington, noting that this is a logical approach to expanding in an emerging market.

Full internationalization by 2012

“There are a number of potential deals active at the moment and we expect two or three more to be completed by the end of the year,” Monnnigton said. “Turkey’s exhibition market will be more or less fully internationalized by the end of 2012.” He said most organizers were looking for expansion outside of their home markets, especially where those markets are mature and there is relatively little growth. “Money is increasingly being spent in Turkey; one of the markets on everybody’s list that can be described as a hot market,” Monnington said.

The largest international organizers in Turkey today are also the longest established. ITE and German Hannover Messe International have both been active in Turkey for more than 10 years and both originally entered the market by creating joint ventures with local organizers: British ITE with Turkey’s CNR Exhibitions and Hannover with Dünya Fuar.

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