Mark Shashoua has confirmed that i2i Events Group has acquired the world’s largest event for payments and financial services innovation, Money20/20, with a view to accelerating its international growth.
The 2014 event, which will continue to operate under its current leadership is, says Group CEO Shashoua, on track for 7,000 attendees when its third edition opens next week in Las Vegas.
While the show is particularly strong Stateside, the deal opens the path for growth of the brand in other global regions, and the first international launch will be Money20/20Europe in Spring 2016.
A long-term partnership plan with the show’s founders Anil D. Aggarwal and Jonathan Weiner is part of the acquisition deal. It is the third acquisition by Shashoua since he took the reins at i2i two and a half years ago.
“This show,” he tells CN, “completely hits the sweet spot for i2i Events”.
Money20/20 is a fast growing event, tripling its attendance figures and more than doubling the number of sponsors in two years.
It is this quality which attracted Shashoua, whose stated goal is to diversify the portfolio both by product and geographically.
“We are very selective in terms of acquisition strategy,” he says. “We always ask whether a show is the main event in its sector and does it have a core group of international clients?”
The show takes place 2-5 November 2014 at Aria in Las Vegas and is set to welcome more than 700 CEOs, representing over 2,500 companies and 60 countries.
Shashoua admits the show is becoming more weighted towards the congress side, although the core exhibition is growing, too. “It is an unbelievable line up of CEOs and the current team has brought in more analysts, investors and media over the years to meet with the entrepreneurs”.
Asked where i2i can strengthen the event, Shashoua points to the group’s experience internationally. “They had other offers,” he says of Aggarwal and Weiner, “but wanted to partner with a company that could take that partnership worldwide with the kind of expertise we have”.
Shashoua also underlines the opportunities for geo-cloning. “[The deal] also gives us entry to a new high-growth sector which complements other events within i2i, including World Retail Congress and sister brands within Top Right Group, such as Planet Retail and WGSN. I look forward to working with the Money20/20 team as we build on the phenomenal success of the brand and take it to the next stage of its development.”
Aggarwal describes the deal as “an incredible opportunity to grow Money20/20 internationally for the benefit of the industry and all of its stakeholders, and we believe i2i Events Group is the best company to help get us there. i2i brings many assets to this new partnership, including expertise in international event management and opportunities for geographical expansion. And with our shared commitment to enhancing ecosystem value and delivering excellent content, I am confident that Money20/20 will become a world-class, world-wide brand at the heart of the industry”.
Financial terms of the deal are not being disclosed.
Asked whether there were more acquisitions in the i2i pipeline, Shashoua answers in the affirmative.
“We’ve turned away far more deals than we’ve done. And these weren’t bad shows, just ones that didn’t fit. We are always evaluating, however.”
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