Fiera Milano Acquires Stake in Chinese Firm

The acquisition brings Italian fair organizer's total number of exhibitions worldwide to 69, of which 21 are in China.

MILAN — Fiera Milano SpA has signed a preliminary contract to acquire 75 percent of Worldex NewCo, which includes Chinese fair operators Guangzhou Shi Zhan Exhibition Service Co. Ltd. and Hainan Shi Zhan Exhibition Co. Ltd.

The acquisition of Worldex NewCo for 7.5 million euros, or $9.8 million at current exchange rates, brings Fiera Milano’s total number of exhibitions worldwide to 69, of which 21 are in China. The Italian fair organizer also organizes events in India, Brazil, Russia, Turkey, South Africa and Singapore. In Italy, Fiera Milano is a leading organizer of a wide range of events, which cover everything from furniture, used books and wine to fashion and cosmetics, with specialized exhibitions such as Intercharm, Micam, Mifur, Milano Unica and MI Milano Pret-à-Porter.

Worldex NewCo, which operates in China Guangdong and Hainan provinces, is known for its exhibitions in the agriculture and food, hospitality and energy-saving technology fields. The company also runs fairs in India and Thailand.

Fiera Milano chief executive officer Enrico Pazzali said the acquisition would help the Italian organization strengthen its existing ties with China, which over the last 30 years has undergone significant industrialization.

“The province of Guandong, the beating heart of southern China, is the most populous and has the largest economy in the country, in first place for the value of its gross domestic product, for foreign commerce, for its retail sales of consumer goods,” he said.

He noted that Fiera Milano and Worldex NewCo share experience in the food and hospitality sectors.

Wolfgang Qi, ceo of Guangzhou Shi Zhan Exhibition Service Co. Ltd., said, “The entry of Worldex (China) in one of the world’s top exhibition groups, with diverse activities on a global scale, represents for us an extraordinary opportunity for growth and internationalization. Furthermore we are certain of contributing professionalism and in-depth knowledge of the Chinese market, which is useful to consolidate the expansion of Fiera Milano in China.”