• Thomas Russell

UBM acquires Malaysian International Furniture Fair

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia — Global business media company UBM plc has acquired the Malaysian International Furniture Fair, which is believed to be the largest furniture trade event in Southeast Asia.

UBM announced Tuesday that it has purchased the show from a group of private owners on behalf of UBM Asia, the Hong Kong-based trade show organizer that manages 150 events across Asia, including Furniture China, held in Shanghai each September, and Index Mumbai which is held in October.

UBM Asia also owns 24 publications that cover a variety of industries ranging from nonwoven materials and jewelry to furniture. The company has more than 6,000 employees in 30 countries.

Officials did not reveal a purchase price or other details regarding the transaction. It did say that MIFF generates about $6.6 million in annual revenues.

MIFF was established in 1995, with the first event occupying about 120,000 square feet of show space. Today, it has grown to cover nearly 800,000 square feet in two venues in downtown Kuala Lumpur.

Last year's event featured 473 exhibitors and attracted just over 20,000 visitors from 140 countries, including the United States. Held each March, the next event is set for March 6-12.

UBM said that MIFF founder and managing director of MIFF Sdn Bhd, Dato Tan Chin Huat, will remain with the business and that Karen Goi, a senior manager with the fair, will remain with UBM Malaysia, reporting to M. Gandhi, managing director of UBM Asia.

Jime Essink, president and CEO of UBM Asia, said in a statement that MIFF joins the UBM offices in Thailand, Singapore, Indonesia, the Philippines and Vietnam to provide "a unique and extensive network" across Southeast Asia.

"This will bring MIFF to a new level and will certainly benefit the exhibitors and visitors of this prestigious event," Essink added. "We are looking forward to working closely with Dato Tan and would like to welcome Ms Goi and the MIFF team into UBM Asia."

Thomas RussellThomas Russell | Associate Editor, FurnitureToday

I'm Tom Russell and have worked at Furniture/Today since August 2003. Since then, I have covered the international side of the business from a logistics and sourcing standpoint. Since then, I also have visited several furniture trade shows and manufacturing plants in Asia, which has helped me gain perspective about the industry in that part of the world. As I continue covering the import side of the business, I look forward to building on that knowledge base through conversations with industry officials and future overseas plant tours. From time to time, I will file news and other industry perspectives online and, as always, welcome your response to these Web postings.

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