Equity investor Veronis Suhler Stevenson last week acquired Advanstar Communications for $1.142 billion. (Co-sponsors of the investment are Citigroup Private Equity and New York Life Capital Partners.) Among Advanstar's more prominent properties are the MAGIC Marketplace apparel market trade show and Dealer Expo, a powersports aftermarket trade show. Advanstar's slate of offerings includes 87 international and regional events, 58 publications and directories and 125 electronic publications and Web sites.

Advanstar also offers educational and direct marketing products and services with a customer base that comprises both business professionals and consumers.

The fact that Advanstar is a strong player in a variety of growing vertical markets likely appealed to VSS; and principals at the investment firm undoubtedly have a plan already in place to further increase the presence of Advanstar's slate of products. In announcing the deal, VSS officials suggested that growth will be sparked organically as well as through acquisitions. While the media industry, particular when it comes to magazine titles, has suffered some losses lately (the shutdown of Child magazine late last week is the most recent), expect some healthy gains from the Advanstar properties. VSS apparently sees plenty of potential and possesses the resources necessary to fuel that potential. It certainly won’t be a quiet year for Advanstar.