StonExpo is sold to Hanley Wood

December 1, 2004
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The StonExpo Federation's Board of Directors approved the sale of the StonExpo exhibition and conference to Hanley Wood, LLC. The agreement was signed on October 29, 2004 by the leadership of the StonExpo Federation, Marble Institute of America (MIA), and Hanley Wood, LLC.

Under the purchase agreement, the StonExpo Federation and the Marble Institute of America will enjoy 45-year sponsorship agreements, making the Federation and MIA the official sponsors of StonExpo. Hanley Wood will work closely with the MIA and its Educational Advisory Council in the development of the show's educational curriculum.

“Hanley Wood's expertise in exhibition management and their resources should help make StonExpo into a comprehensive North American stone event,” said Alex Bachrach, President of the StonExpo Federation. “StonExpo has been a great show for our industry, and we feel Hanley Wood can improve it by attracting new attendees, expanding the show's size and scope, and helping to increase the use of stone through more exposure to more people.”

Garis Distelhorst, CAE, Executive Vice President, Marble Institute of America, echoed these thoughts. “MIA is extremely proud to become a partner with Hanley Wood in taking StonExpo to an even higher level in servicing the natural stone industry. Hanley Wood's leadership position in construction -- particularly residential construction -- provides a great fit for StonExpo and the Marble Institute. We think this is a watershed event in the growth of our industry, and we're excited about our future.”

StonExpo was founded in 1987 with 143 booths and 970 attendees. It has grown to become a leading event for the natural stone industry, featuring nearly 900 exhibits and thousands of attendees from all sectors of the stone industry.

Hanley Wood, LLC, is the leading media company serving the housing and construction industries. Through its Exhibitions Division, based in Dallas, Hanley Wood conducts 12 premier industry trade shows and events, including World of Concrete, one of the top 20 trade show events in the country.

“Hanley Wood is delighted with the board's decision, and we look forward to working with the leadership of the StonExpo Federation and Marble Institute of America to grow both the event and the stone industry,” said Galen Poss, President of Hanley Wood Exhibitions. “This is a dynamic marketplace that has tremendous potential. We are committed to taking what is already a terrific event to the next level.”

It is hoped that the transfer of ownership will solidify StonExpo's position in the industry, particularly at a time when there are more international trade shows than ever. “I am most excited about Hanley Wood's ability to bring StonExpo into the future,” said Gasper (G.K.) Naquin, president of Stone Interiors and a speaker at the 2004 event. With the capacity to bring MIA education to the stone fabricators, equipment manufacturers, tool and material suppliers, and all the associated industry benefits at one show, in lieu of the many shows across the country, StonExpo will stand out as the premier industry event.”

“With natural stone being the most sought-after and desired material in construction, and with Hanley Wood being the leading media company in residential construction, the synergies are obvious, the opportunities are huge, and the market is ready,” said Distelhorst.

The first StonExpo operated by Hanley Wood will be in Las Vegas at the Las Vegas Convention Center, taking place from November 10 to 12, 2005. “We are very excited to be bringing the show to Las Vegas next year,” said Michelle Troop, Hanley Wood senior show director. “With the appeal of Las Vegas, the strong support of the Federation and the MIA, and our team committed to helping the industry grow its event, StonExpo 2005 is extremely well positioned for success.”

About StonExpo Federation, Inc.

Headquartered in Mount Sterling, OH, the StonExpo Federation is a non-profit corporation composed of representatives from major stone industry trade associations, vendors, and publications.

About Hanley Wood

Hanley Wood, LLC, is a leading media company serving housing and construction. Through five operating divisions, the company produces award-winning magazines and Web sites, marquee trade shows and events, rich data and custom marketing solutions. The company also is North America's leading publisher of home plans.

Founded in 1976, Hanley Wood is a $200 million company owned by VS&A Communications Partners III, LP, the private-equity affiliate of media industry merchant bank Veronis Suhler Stevenson

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