Graphite backs MBO of conference provider Hanson Wade

August 16, 2019

Private equity firm Graphite Capital has backed the management buyout of Hanson Wade, a conference organiser and information services provider to the pharmaceutical and biotech industries. The management team is led by Tom Richardson, who was appointed chief executive in 2015. Hanson Wade provides conferences for the pharma and biotech industries, the construction and engineering industries, and the human resources sector. It also owns a scientific data business, Beacon, which provides subscribers with access to a database covering clinical trials and other research data in niche sectors of the bio-pharma industry. The business is based in London but generates most of its revenues in the US. Its portfolio of events almost doubled to 108 between 2016 and 2018 and its revenues increased by 117% to £22.6 million. Hanson Wade was founded in 2008 by Sarah McCaldin, who has reinvested in the company and will remain on the board as a non-executive director. Tom Richardson, CEO of Hanson Wade, said: ‘We have been impressed by Graphite’s track record of growing innovative businesses, its understanding of the industry and its partnership approach to 2 2 working with management teams. Graphite shares our vision for the future and its expertise will be invaluable as we further expand the business internationally.’ Humphrey Baker, Partner at Graphite, added: ‘The Hanson Wade management team has developed a differentiated model that enables the business to identify and respond to trends within its target markets, expanding the range of conferences it produces to gain first-mover advantage in attractive new niches. We also see strong potential in Beacon, which is proving a highly attractive data source for the scientific community.’


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