Caribiner sells off events arm

Caribiner International is selling its global events and design arm, Caribiner Communications, to Interpublic Group-owned rival Jack Morton Company for $90m (£57m). Both groups are listed in New York.

The deal will create a global live communications empire, with 1200 staff and projected revenues of $425m (£270m). While the groups compete in the US, where rationalisation is inevitable, in non-US markets there is little duplication of activity.

Caribiner Communications could be merged with Jack Morton’s UK video and design group, Creation Communications, the buyer’s only European interest other than live communications group De Otter deVries in The Netherlands and Germany.

As part of the deal, Jack Morton also acquires Caribiner International’s operations in Australia, New Zealand and Asia, with the exception of its audiovisual businesses. The new network could be completely rebranded by the Interpublic Group, according to Caribiner Europe chairman Lois Jacobs.

“We have been looking for a partial restructuring for some time and although there has been little talk about it in Europe, it has been in the public domain in the US,” she says.

The sale will free funds for Caribiner International’s other business concerns.

“We are looking at a number of alternatives with the name and considering whether to keep the Caribiner or Jack Morton name or use a new single brand altogether,” she says.

Jacobs adds that in Europe the business will be looking at closer co-operation with Creative Communications, but that as there is no duplication of activity between them, no redundancies will result.

The full extent of the restructure of the new group’s European operations, including Jacob’s own position, will not be announced until next month due to trading regulations.

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