Private equity giant Blackstone is set to buy the UK's Clarion Events for £600m

Lucy White
Clarion Events Blackstone
Clarion runs a number of events in London's Olympia Exhibition Centre, such as the Security and Counter Terror Expo (Source: Getty)

US private equity firm Blackstone, which owns stakes in businesses such as fashion house Versace and camera brand Leica, is set to buy Clarion Events for around £600m, City A.M. understands.

Clarion, which is currently owned by Providence Equity Partners, runs a host of large-scale events including several in London's Olympia Exhibition Centre.

The sale is slated to go ahead next week, according to Sky News. Unusually for a private equity firm, Providence has only held the company for just under three years.

The UK-based business, which owns the rights to events drawing customers from around the world such as the Olympia Horse Show and Defence and Security Equipment International, has passed through the hands of a string of private equity firms.

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Providence bought Clarion for around £200m in 2015 from Veronis Suhler Stevenson, which had in turn acquired the business from HgCapital for £120.5m in 2008.

Clarion has continued to escalate in size, and now runs more than 180 events in 50-plus countries, attracting in excess of one million visitors.

Tracing its roots back to 1947, the company currently employs 950 staff across 13 offices worldwide.

Blackstone, which has $100bn of private equity assets under management, also teamed with fellow firm CVC to make a bid this week for card processing firm Paysafe.

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