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UK events company Hyve Group sold to US private equity firm

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The events organiser Hyve Group has become the latest UK company to be sold to a private equity firm, sending its shares sharply higher.In a joint statement, the US firm Providence Equity Partners said it had agreed a buyout deal paying 108p in cash for each Hyve share – valuing the international conference organiser at £481m.

Hyve had previously rejected two offers worth 101p and 105p a share from Providence.Richard Last, chair of Hyve, said: “The board believes the offer represents value for shareholders and that Providence, with their knowledge of the sector and belief in the business and management team, will be a good partner for Hyve.”Shares in the London-based company, which is currently organising 33 in-person events across 11 countries and employs more than 600 people in 10 offices, jumped more than 12% in early trading on the news to 111.8p.A number of UK companies have been targeted by private equity in recent years as their share prices have fallen.

One of the biggest takeovers was the £7bn private equity buyout of the supermarket chain Morrisons.Hyve shares were worth 610p in January 2020 before Covid-19 lockdowns and travel restrictions sent sales plummeting.

It switched to holding some events virtually, such as the Pure London fashion trade show. The company took a further hit a year ago when it decided to pull out of Russia, where it employed 206 people, after Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine.

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