International Market Centers (IMC) and AmericasMart [Atlanta] (AmericasMart), two best-in-class operators in the furniture, gift, home décor, rug and apparel B2B industries, have entered into an agreement to form the world’s largest owner and operator of premier showroom space. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
The combined corporate entity, which will operate under International Market Centers, will own and operate nearly 20 million square feet of permanent showroom space in Las Vegas; High Point, NC; and Atlanta, creating the world’s largest permanent mart operator for furniture, home decor, rug, gift and apparel. The individual markets and their respective venues will continue to operate under existing names and branding.
Robert Maricich, the current Chief Executive Officer of IMC, will become Chief Executive Officer of the combined entity. “IMC has always had immense respect for AmericasMart and its founders, the Portman family, who established a tremendous reputation in the industry," he said. "We look forward to bringing together our two companies to provide exhibitors with exceptional access to global markets, and buyers with even more convenient opportunities to explore top products across sectors.”
“AmericasMart has long served as a crossroads of commerce,” noted Jeffrey L. Portman, Sr. “This joining of the incredibly powerful talents and resources present in both organizations will sustain and advance that role for the ultimate benefit of the customers we jointly serve.".
Portman will serve as an advisor to the Board of IMC.
Blackstone Real Estate Partners and Blackstone Tactical Opportunities (Blackstone; NYSE: BX) acquired IMC in 2017 in partnership with Fireside Investments. IMC is the world's largest owner and operator of premier showroom space for the furniture, home decor and gift industries, with 12.2 million square feet of world-class exhibition space in High Point, NC and Las Vegas, NV serving over 4,000 exhibitors and lines.
“This announcement to combine with AmericasMart coupled with our continued investment in High Point and Las Vegas demonstrates our enthusiasm about the expansion of our core business and our optimism for the future of Markets for the furniture, home decor, gift and apparel industries,” said Maricich.
The transaction is expected to close in the third quarter of 2018.