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June 07, 2016
Wasserstein Partners acquired Northstar Travel Group, the leading provider of business-to-business information, content, events, data, research, custom content and software dedicated to the global travel and meeting industries, from the Wicks Group of Companies. Investing alongside Wasserstein Partners IV were its co-investors, Alberta Teachers' Retirement Fund Board, John Hancock and Storebrand Insurance. 

Northstar is the owner of well-known brands including Travel Weekly, TravelAge West, Business Travel News, Successful Meetings, Meetings & Conventions, Travel Weekly China, Incentive, M&C China and Web in Travel. The company produces more than 50 face-to-face events in 13 countries in retail travel, corporate travel, travel technology and the meetings industry. In addition, Northstar owns Phocuswright, the leading research, business intelligence and event producer serving the fastest growing segment of the travel industry, on-line travel distribution. Northstar also is the majority shareholder in Inntopia, the leading SaaS e-commerce software provider serving the mountain destination, activities and specialty destination travel markets. 

"We are excited to welcome Wasserstein as our new partner to provide the capital and investment experience to help Northstar achieve our next phase of growth serving one of the largest and most dynamic industries in the world: global travel and tourism," said Thomas Kemp, chairman and CEO of Northstar Travel Group. "Wicks has been a great partner to the company, and we thank them for providing guidance and insight over the last four years."

"We are very impressed with the growth of Northstar Travel Group over the last few years," said Anup Bagaria, co-managing partner of Wasserstein. "The management team has done an excellent job of transforming its core business into an integrated information, data, software, event and marketing solutions company." 

Michael Struble, partner of Wasserstein, added, "We have known Tom and Northstar for many years. We are excited about investing in the company's continued transformation and growth through geographic expansion, new product development and strategic acquisitions."

"We are very pleased to complete the sale of Northstar to Wasserstein," said Daniel Kortick, managing partner of Wicks. "We wish the team and Wasserstein the best as the company embarks on its next phase of growth."

Terms of the acquisition were not disclosed.

Harris Williams represented Northstar Travel Group in the transaction and acted as its exclusive financial advisor. Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP provided legal advice.  

Macquarie Capital provided financing and acted as financial advisor to Wasserstein on the transaction. Jones Day served as legal advisor to Wasserstein.