CN can exclusively reveal that California-based Blackhawk Network intends to sell the Meetings & Events division of Grass Roots, its UK-based subsidiary acquired in 2016 in a deal reported to be worth US$118m.
Blackhawk is a public company and tells CN that divesting the Grass Roots Meetings & Events division will allow it to focus on its core competencies, while enabling the M&E division to find “a more natural home” that would allow it to demonstrate and capitalise on its expertise within the M&E industry, particularly in the core Strategic Meetings Management (SMM) and delegate registration parts of its business.
David Taylor (pictured), managing director, Grass Roots Meetings & Events, tells CN: “The M&E business is a profitable, growing business with a strong team which has been operating autonomously to the wider Grass Roots business for a long period of time and will, therefore, continue to successfully operate as a separate business entity moving forward.
“As one of the largest International providers of SMM programmes and delegate registration services, we work with a host of leading corporate clients and look forward to our ongoing relationships with them as the M&E business continues to flourish.”
The agency tells CN it is “business as usual” for the foreseeable future as management continues to support the M&E division under the current business plan.
Blackhawk says that it has no current plans to divest other Grass Roots business units, which are more aligned with its core competencies.
The company adds that it has no specific timeframe for achieving the sale of the Grass Roots M&E business.