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InfoTrends To Merge with Questex Media Group (plus interview with Charles A. Pesko, Jr.)

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Press release from the issuing company

(Editor’s note: Cary Sherburne’s exclusive interview with Charles A. Pesko, Jr., founder and Managing Director of InfoTrends Inc., appears at the end of this article.) Newton, MA, September 20, 2006 -- Questex Media Group, Inc. and InfoTrends, Inc. announced today that the two have signed a definitive merger agreement. This agreement is subject to the approval of the shareholders of InfoTrends, and is expected to close by the end of September, when InfoTrends will become a wholly-owned subsidiary of Questex. "This agreement marks a significant milestone in our drive to become a strategic business information resource for our customers," said Kerry C. Gumas, President & CEO of Questex. "InfoTrends has established a unique position as the world's leading provider of market data, research and strategic advisory services to the document solutions and digital imaging markets and is highly complementary to our business." "This agreement is an excellent move forward for InfoTrends, as it will enable us to create additional value for our customers and also provide us access to new markets," said Charles A. Pesko, Jr., founder and Managing Director of InfoTrends. The two companies have had a long-standing commercial relationship. InfoTrends was a founding partner of Questex Media's market leading ON DEMAND Digital Printing & Publishing Conference and Exposition, now in its 13th year, and continues to produce conference programming for the event. Questex Media Group, Inc. is a global, diversified business-to-business integrated media provider, headquartered in Newton, MA. Questex Media serves multiple industries including technology, travel, beauty, home entertainment, landscaping, and industrial and specialty markets through a range of well established, market-leading products and services. The company’s properties include 23 trade publications, 25 conferences and tradeshows, as well as a host of databases and online media brands. Questex Media has more than 400 employees in offices throughout North America, Latin America, Asia, and Europe. --------------------------- Exclusive Interview Charlie Pesko Discusses the Strategy Behind the Move By Cary Sherburne, Senior WTT Editor September 20, 2006 -- InfoTrends, the industry research firm formerly known as CAP Ventures, has announced a change in its business. The company will be merging with Questex Media, its longtime business partner in producing the On Demand Digital Printing & Publishing Conference and Exposition. WhatTheyThink spoke with InfoTrends founder and Managing Director, Charles A. Pesko, Jr., to get the inside scoop. WTT: Charlie, nice to speak with you, and congratulations on this new development. We had been hearing rumblings that you were selling the business. CAP: This is a merger, not a sale. Part of what Questex is acquiring through this deal is the expertise and reputation of the InfoTrends senior management team. All of us, including myself, will continue to play a very active role in the business going forward. WTT: Tell us a little about Questex Media and how InfoTrends will fit into the picture. CAP: Questex Media, as you know, runs the AIIM/On Demand show. Questex is an integrated media company that produces publications and events, including trade shows. I have been dealing with Kerry Gumas, President and Chief Executive Officer of Questex Media, for some time. Questex was a spin-off from Advanstar. Kerry raised capital and acquired a group of publications and events from Advanstar about a year and a half ago in a number of different markets, including technology, entertainment, and hospitality. We will become their consulting and research “third leg on the stool, if you will, so that the organization will now deliver publications, events, and research and consulting. It is a natural marriage between those domains, a business model that has been in place at IDC, Gartner and other companies for some time. WTT: Is the deal final at this time? CAP: We have signed a definitive agreement subject to the approval of our stockholders, and we expect to close by the end of September. WTT: With Questex being in markets outside of printing and publishing, do you foresee adding consulting and research expertise in new markets as well? CAP: Probably, although I can’t comment specifically at this time. We will also be expanding our services within the industry—stay tuned for more on that. WTT: I can see the advantage to Questex in adding research and consulting to its business. What’s in this for InfoTrends and its clients? CAP: Questex is financed by a major investment banking company in Boston, Audax Group, and they are building a larger, more powerful company in the integrated media space. We are a part of that. As such, we are looking to grow, acquire, and expand, both in the document and imaging markets. We will also have more opportunity for expansion internationally. We have the management talent and team to be able to grow and make acquisitions. We have acquired other companies in the past, and now we have a powerful partner that wants us to grow. That means we will be able to provide our clients with additional products and services that will help them grow their businesses. WTT: It has always seemed to me that the conference content at On Demand was pretty independent of anything going on with respect to sale of exhibit space, etc. Will this merger compromise that at all? CAP: No, not at all. We will be a division of Questex Media, operating independently. The conference program won’t change one iota. We are not going to be in the business of selling space, ads and magazines. WTT: Charlie, thanks for speaking with us. Anything else you would like to add before we close? CAP: This is the right move at the right time for us, and this powerful financial backing will allow us to grow the business. People here are very excited and know that this will allow us to take the business to the next level. I have been dealing with Kerry and his team for seven or eight years now, and we work well together. I know and like his team and respect him. This is a great strategic fit and there are a lot of synergies we can both bring to the party. This Interview was conducted by Cary Sherburne. She can be reached via email at cary@sherburneassociates.com, online at www.sherburneassociates.com and by telephone at 603-430-5463.




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