Empowerment-led management buyout of Reed Exhibitions

April 2003 News

Executives of SA's leading exhibition organiser have negotiated an empowerment-led management buyout of the UK-based Reed Exhibitions for an undisclosed sum.

Spearheaded by the doyenne of this country's exhibition industry and former Reed Exhibitions MD, Jo Melville, the buyout will see over 60% of the shares in the new entity - Exhibitions for Africa - in the hands of historically disadvantaged individuals (HDIs). In addition, all staff members are also shareholders in the company.

Jo Melville, MD, Exhibitions for Africa
Jo Melville, MD, Exhibitions for Africa

Exhibitions for Africa hosts a number of leading business to business events, with significant international participation, on an annual and biennial basis. These include Computer Faire, Tel.Com, Afribuild/Afriwater, Hostex/Contract Furnishing, Securex, the KwaZulu-Natal, Western Cape, and Eastern Cape Industrial Trade Shows and the Blue IQ Smart Industry Expo.

The Blue IQ Smart Industry Expo is a targeted economic industry exhibition to showcase domestic and international businesses operating in the Blue IQ identified drivers of the Gauteng economy - smart industries, high value-added manufacturing and tourism, focusing on the following industry categories: Bio-technology, Electronics, Energy Technology and Renewable Energy, Electrical Switchgear, Financial and Auxiliary services, Fluid Power and Air Technology, Information and Communication Technology, Logistics and Supply Chain Management, Materials Handling, Machine Tools, Process Control and Automation, and Tourism Infrastructure.

Zeth Malele remains as Chairman, Jo Melville retains her position as MD, Dev Naidoo remains Commercial Director. Aldean Prior and Lynn Chamier become executive directors. Other directors are Ntombi Langa-Royds, Dr Roy Marcus, Masedi Molosiwa and Talib Sadik.

Commenting on the deal, Melville says it is business as usual. "All our events are 100% SA-owned and profitable. Exhibitions for Africa will seek to develop its market leading events in such a way as to parallel the key goals and initiatives of the South African government.

"Our vision is to solicit broader stakeholder support and cooperation to drive increased trade, grow inbound investment, and make a significant contribution to job creation. With our strong empowerment credentials and strategic value of our shows, we are well positioned to achieve this," she explains and points out that the company has already embarked on a marketing drive into Africa.

"There's been increased interest from Africa with a number of delegations and business people visiting our shows. And because our events are targeted at niche industries such as water, hospitality and tourism, IT and telecommunications, infrastructure, manufacturing, transport and building, and security, they are perfectly positioned to play a role and indeed contribute to NEPAD's success," Melville says.

For more information contact Jo Melville, MD, Exhibitions for Africa, 011 886 3734.

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