dmg Shedding Gift Shows; COO Michael Franks Retires

HIL ANDERSON, SENIOR EDITOR
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San Francisco, CA – dmg world media says it has sold the California Gift Show to Merchandise Mart Properties, Inc. (MMPI) and has put its remaining gift shows on the West Coast and in Canada up for sale.

The company also announced that Chief Operating Officer Michael Franks has retired after 12 years on the job, but remains with the company on a part-time basis on projects that include the pending divestiture of the Arts & Antiques portfolio.

Mike Cooke, CEO of dmg, said the sale of the gift shows would be completed this year and was part of an ongoing overhaul of the company that began in 2007. “We set out to reshape the business to focus more on fast-growing trade markets and less on consumer-based products,” Cooke said. “We have been successful thus far in finding buyers who see great value in these products which are no longer a strategic fit for dmg world media, but still have great potential in their regional or niche markets.”

The transaction announced May 11 that sent the California Gift Show to MMPI left dmg with gift shows in Seattle, San Francisco and in Canada. The U.S. and Canadian shows will be sold in two separate packages and were receiving inquiries from prospective buyers, Cooke said.

MMPI said the California Gift Show would take place in Los Angeles as scheduled July 14-20 under MMPI management at the Los Angeles Convention Center and the L.A. Mart, which is owned by MMPI. “The acquisition of California Gift Show underscores our belief in the inherent value of Los Angeles as a market destination and our commitment to the gift industry,” said Joan Ulrich, senior vice president, MMPI.

Reach Mike Cooke at (415) 464-8500 or mikecooke@dmgworldmedia.com; Joan Ulrich at (312) 527-7523 or julrich@mmart.com