Messe Frankfurt sets up UK subsidiary with Forest Exhibitions buy out

Global event organiser Messe Frankfurt - the owner of Automechanika and Hardware + Tools Middle East, among others - has acquired Forest Exhibitions Ltd.

Forest Exhibitions had established Automechanika Birmingham as a licensee and the move also sees Messe Frankfurt make the 100% acquisition of the NEC-set show.

The previous owner of Forest Exhibitions Ltd, Rob Sherwood, who has represented Messe Frankfurt in the UK since 2008 with his company Sherwood Event Services Ltd, had organised Automechanika Birmingham for the first time in 2016 – with over 500 exhibitors on a net exhibition space of 10,000 square metres. The following year’s event recorded an increase in exhibitor figures and exhibition space, with 844 companies showcasing their products and services to over 12,000 visitors on a net exhibition space of over 17,000 square metres.

Former Event Director of Forest Exhibitions Ltd, Simon Albert, is to be Managing Director of the new Messe Frankfurt subsidiary. He said he was “proud to be part of one of the largest trade fair companies in the world and to contribute to its success from the UK”. In this position, he succeeds Rob Sherwood, who will continue to represent Messe Frankfurt in international sales with his company Sherwood Event Services Ltd.

Last year, Automechanika Birmingham won four awards in its sector, including “Best Trade Show”, during the AEO Awards. Detlef Braun, the member of the Executive Board of Messe Frankfurt responsible for the Mobility & Logistics business field, which includes the Automechanika trade fair brand with 17 events in 15 countries, commented: “With our subsidiary in the United Kingdom, we aim to continue helping Automechanika Birmingham go from strength-to-strength.”

In the last financial year, over 560 exhibitors and around 15,300 visitors came from the United Kingdom to trade fairs in Frankfurt.

Wolfgang Marzin, Messe Frankfurt President and CEO, said: “It is important for our company to promote commercial exchanges at European and global level at our 30 trade fair locations around the world. In addition, the UK is an attractive trade fair and export market for our international customers. Even Shakespeare, one of the most important figures in world literature, was aware of the importance of trade links between the United Kingdom and Germany in his day. He made mention of the ‘Frankfurt mart’ and the trading activities with his homeland there in his play ‘The Merchant of Venice’. Another important strategic factor for us today is the proximity to our British partners and organisers who are regular visitors to Frankfurt.”