GES Expands Across the Pond with Acquisition of U.K. Service Contractor and Registration Firm

HIL ANDERSON, SENIOR EDITOR
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Las Vegas, NV – GES Exposition Services, Inc., a subsidiary of Viad Corp., announced on Feb. 2  the acquisition of  Melville Exhibition and Event Services Ltd., an exhibition contractor, and  Corporate Technical Services Ltd., a registration and database services company.  The acquisition enables GES to expand internationally, a key step in the company’s growth strategy.  Kevin Rabbitt, GES president and CEO, said, “(The acquisition) positions GES as the only official services contractor to offer show organizers and exhibitors one company to seamlessly handle all of their exhibition needs in the U.S., Canada and Europe.” Terms of the agreement were not announced.

In its 2006 earnings statement that was also released Feb. 2, Viad President and CEO Paul Dykstra said the Melville acquisition would be slightly accretive to Viad’s 2007 results, which forecast revenue of $80 million to $90 million with January excluded due to the date of the acquisition.  Dykstra said GES had been a driver of Viad’s performance and would serve as a platform for Viad to enter new markets. “We have identified several opportunities to drive growth and margin expansion at Melville by applying the same proven initiatives that have fueled GES’ strong performance in recent years,”  he said.

Viad reported a 20.7 percent growth in earnings in 2006 due to strong showings by GES and Viad’s Travel and Recreation Segment as well as increased interest income. Revenue for the year totaled $856 million, although there was a Q4  loss from continuing operations of 14 cents per share. GES’ performance in Q4  boasted an 8.3 percent growth in revenues to $107.9 million. Full-year revenue grew 9.7 percent, or $55.1 million, to $623.1 million compared to $568 million in 2005.

Reach Paul Dykstra at (602) 207-4000 or pdykstra@viad.com; Kevin Rabbitt at (702) 263-1500 or krabbitt@ges.com