Viad Corp (NYSE:VVI) today announced that it acquired onPeak, LLC and Travel Planners, Inc., two leading event housing services providers in the United States, on October 7, 2014. The combined businesses will serve their clients under the name onPeak, a GES Global Company (“onPeak | GES”). The acquisitions are expected to be accretive to Viad’s 2015 earnings and dilutive to Viad’s 2014 earnings primarily as a result of upfront integration expenses.
JEGI CLARITY (www.jegiclarity.com), the leading independent investment bank for the global media, information, marketing and technology sectors, headquartered in New York, NY, acted as the exclusive financial advisor to both onPeak and TravelPlanners. JEGI CLARITY conceived of the two separate sales of onPeak and TravelPlanners, to be closed on the same date, and handled negotiations on behalf of the sellers for both transactions.
Paul B. Dykstra, Viad’s chairman, president and chief executive officer, said, “As part of our strategy to expand our Marketing & Events Group to become the preferred global full service provider to the live events market, we had identified event housing as a key adjacent service for GES. The U.S. event housing market is large and attractive, with an estimated addressable market size of about $200 million and operating margins that are accretive to GES’ operating margins. We are excited to have immediately gained a leading position in that market through the acquisition of onPeak and Travel Planners and look forward to offering yet another value-added service to all parties – event organizers, exhibitors, attendees and hoteliers.”
With 60 years of combined experience, the new onPeak | GES provides best-in-class housing services to approximately 60 percent of the top 250 U.S. events. As the exclusive distributor of housing services for an event, onPeak | GES leverages its scale and industry-leading technology to offer convenient and affordable hotel accommodations to event attendees and exhibitors. onPeak | GES manages the complexities of hotel booking administration before, during and after the event, including, securing room blocks with local hotels, marketing those reserved blocks to event attendees and exhibitors, managing attendee and exhibitor reservations and addressing any housing concerns during the event.
The new onPeak | GES will be led by Michael Howe, former president of onPeak. Howe, an experienced executive in event housing, will report to Steve Moster, president of Viad’s Marketing & Events Group, as executive vice president of onPeak | GES.
Moster said, “We are always looking for ways to make our clients’ jobs easier and more enjoyable. With just one point of contact, they now have the ability to manage their guests’ complete event experience. Exhibitors, attendees and event organizers will receive the best housing services and powerful, easy-to-use technology. We are very excited to welcome Travel Planners and onPeak to the GES Global Network.”
JEGI CLARITY truly delivered extraordinary value in our transaction. They identified an opportunity to create a market leader in our sector by orchestrating a dual sale with Travel Planners. They created a seamless process that enabled both companies to fully realize the valuation economics of combining immediately after a simultaneous closing. After orchestrating a highly competitive and expertly run auction process, we found the ideal acquirer for both companies. We thank JEGI CLARITY for bringing us this opportunity and exceeding all of our expectations.
Michael Howe, President, onPeak