Blackstone to Acquire International Market Centers, Inc.

Just ahead of the upcoming Las Vegas Summer Market has come news that International Market Centers, Inc. (IMC) – which operates showrooms at the Las Vegas Market Center as well as sizable exhibit space at the High Point Market – will be under new ownership.

Blackstone has announced that funds managed by Blackstone Real Estate Partners and Blackstone Tactical Opportunities have entered into a definitive agreement to acquire IMC from Bain Capital Private Equity, LP and funds managed by Oaktree Capital Management, LP. Fireside Investments is also expected to partner with Blackstone in the acquisition.

IMC is reportedly the largest owner and operator of premier showroom space for the furnishings, home décor, and gift industries with 12.2 million square feet of exhibition space in High Point, N.C. and Las Vegas.  The goal is to build and operate an innovative, sustainable, profitable, and scalable platform for the furnishings, home décor, and gift industries.

“This marks an exciting time for International Market Centers,” notes Robert Maricich, CEO of IMC. “While Bain Capital and Oaktree have been great partners for the past six years, we look forward to this new relationship and our next phase of growth. Blackstone is a firm with a strong track record of enabling transformational change and shares our long-term vision for the business.”

“IMC has an excellent management team that has built a high-quality business and leader in the furniture, showroom, and gift industry exhibition space,” adds Andrea Serra, a Managing Director in Blackstone’s Tactical Opportunities group. “By leveraging the scale of Blackstone’s platform and expertise in real estate investing, we look forward to partnering with IMC to help drive the company’s continued growth in the years ahead,” said Tyler Henritze, a Senior Managing Director in Blackstone’s Real Estate group.

“In forming IMC, we combined a number of assets and made significant investments in the High Point and Las Vegas markets.  Today the business is a clear leader in the industry, with capabilities and reach that provide best-in-class productivity for the buyers and sellers who attend those markets,” says Ryan Cotton, a Managing Director at Bain Capital. 

“We are proud to have built IMC into a leading, high-performing business in partnership with Bob Maricich and his talented executive team.  We believe the business we’re leaving behind will remain robust and compelling for years to come,” comments Phil Loughlin, a Managing Director at Bain Capital.

“Having partnered with Bob Maricich and Bain Capital at the creation of IMC, we are enormously proud of the enduring and essential platform this management team has built.  IMC is well-positioned for the next phase of growth as the nexus of commerce for the furnishing, home décor and gift industries,” states Kaj Vazales, Managing Director at Oaktree.

The transaction is expected to close during the third quarter of 2017, and is subject to customary closing conditions.

Allen & Company LLC and Kirkland & Ellis LLP served as advisors to International Market Centers, Bain Capital and Oaktree.  Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP served as advisors to Blackstone and Fireside.

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