B2B information. Clarion, the London-based tradeshow operator (owned by Blackstone private equity) that acquired PennWell in April for $300m, is rumoured to be considering (or already is engaged in) a process to sell PennWell’s non-exhibitions assets. The 110-year-old PennWell, based in Tulsa, Oklahoma, produces 150 print and online magazines, plus newsletters and an extensive array of websites, research products, digital media, and database services. It serves several sectors, including energy, fire and emergency services, dental and industrial technology, among others. It is 18 months since Blackstone private equity paid £600m for Clarion. Earlier this year, the company completed a “merger” with the Hong Kong-based Global Sources which operates eight semi-annual export-oriented sourcing exhibitions in Hong Kong, including what are reputedly the world’s largest electronics and mobile electronics shows, as well as an annual machinery show in China. The enlarged company was said to have £300m revenue with 200 exhibitions, principally across Asia, Europe and North America. It is managed from London under the Clarion name but uses the Global Sources brand in Asia. During the first six months of 2018, Clarion revenue increased by 5% with strong growth from the Gaming, Enthusiast and Technology sectors, the Global Sources shows and PennWell. The Blackstone ownership and continuing deals in events and venues (including the UK’s NEC complex) prompts Clarion links with the range of exhibition companies that may (or may not) be sold including: Reed Exhibitions, Comexposium, and CloserStill. In the US, it should be assumed that Clarion/Blackstone are glued to the country’s largest (and wholly domestic) exhibitions group, the listed Emerald Expositions. During the past month, it reported a fall in Quarter 3 profit and margins, and the sudden “resignation” of its CEO, after 35 years with the company. The share price has lost 22% in the past month and 40% since its 2017 IPO. Emerald, which was touted for pre-IPO sale at $2bn, now has a market value of just $840m. It operates more than 55 trade shows accounting for some 6.9m net sq ft. What are they waiting for?