Industrial Shows bought by Penton Cleveland firm says its trade journals will fit with exhibitions

Trade shows

December 05, 1997|By M. William Salganik | M. William Salganik,SUN STAFF

Industrial Shows of America and Industrial Shows of America/International, based in Hunt Valley, was acquired yesterday by Penton Publishing of Cleveland, a company that owns trade shows and publishes a variety of related trade journals and directories.

Terms were not disclosed.

ISOA/ISOI, which has 30 employees, will continue to operate from its current offices and with current management as an "important remote location" of Penton, said Mary Abood, Penton's director of corporate communications.

Susan Donahue, president of the family-owned ISOA/ISOI, said she was "thrilled" because the deal would allow them to grow through the connection with Penton.

"Their publications parallel our trade shows," Donahue said. "Their advertisers are our exhibitors; their subscribers are our attendees. We can sell a complete marketing program, not just a booth at a show."

She said ISOA/ISOI was hoping to "double and quadruple in the next three years."

"In the business media industry," Abood said, "there is a lot of merger and acquisition activity."

Donahue said ISOA/ISOI had been "one of the last three or four independents still out there." She said it had been approached by buyers who see trade shows as investments, but chose for strategic reasons to be acquired by a company in related businesses.

With Penton as a parent, she said, ISOA/ISOI will be able to save expenses negotiating volume deals with convention centers, decorators and hotels and by having its printing done by Penton.

For its part, Penton believes ISOA/ISOI will help it expand its readership. "An important part of their allure for us," Abood said, "is their fairly deep experience in operating in Latin America" -- an area where Penton believes it can expand.

ISOA/-ISOI, founded in 1975, owns 32 trade shows, including one local one, the Baltimore Industrial Show.

Penton owns 25 trade shows, along with publications ranging from Air Transport World and American Machinist to Restaurant Hospitality and Wireless Systems Design. Abood said it was seeking to add shows by acquisition rather than launching new shows because operators such as ISOA have "established, successful shows."

It is a wholly owned subsidiary of Pittway Corp. of Chicago, which manufactures burglar and fire alarm equipment. However, Pittway announced this week that Penton will be spun off as a separate publicly traded company next year.

Pub Date: 12/05/97

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