VNU Business Media Europe, the parent company of both the Channel Expo trade show and trade mag CRN, has been bought by 3i – a private equity company, but insiders claim it’s business as usual.

Channel Expo under new ownership

Every indication is that 3i intends to maintain VNU BME’s commitment to the technology channel by fully backing Channel Expo and its trade magazines, including CRN.

Marieke Visser, event director of Channel Expo, spoke to PC Retail about the move. “Other than some changes at European management level, nothing has changed and it is business as usual here,” she said. “With 55 per cent of stand space sold or reserved already, Channel Expo is looking very healthy and we’re looking forward to the event."

The acquisition is the latest in a protracted period of upheaval and reorganisation at VNU. In the middle of 2006 Valcon – another private equity group – bought the whole of VNU and made it a private company.

VNU is loosely divided into a market intelligence arm – headed by ACNielsen – and the business media arm. It was immediately speculated that Valcon may have wanted to sell the business media arm and so it proved.

It remains to be seen what plans 3i has for the UK channel, but assuming it decides that it’s worth sticking around, we could well see some significant reinvestment in products such as Channel Expo.

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