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BCD M&E acquires Grass Roots Meetings & Events

Acquisition from Blackhawk Network for £22.7m creates largest agency in the UK

Pictured: David Taylor

BCD Meetings & Events (BCD M&E) has acquired Grass Roots Meetings & Events from Blackhawk Network Holdings for £22.7 million, creating the largest events agency in the UK.

Grass Roots Meetings & Events is a division of Grass Roots Group and specialises in strategic meetings management and delegate management. The acquisition will strengthen and diversify BCD M&E’s global service offering.

“We have been strategically investing to grow our global presence and service offering over the last three years,” said Scott Graf, BCD M&E global president. “This acquisition is about strengthening local event operations, offering new venue sourcing technology and expanding our delegate management solution.”

BCD M&E will welcome 220 employees, including respected leaders and industry professionals, with local expertise in the UK, Germany, US, Switzerland and Singapore. Additionally, BCD M&E can offer customers additional and expanded capabilities within its events and venue sourcing services as well as an integrated delegate management solution.

“Grass Roots Meetings & Events has built a phenomenal offering across the globe—one that is a solid complement to our current business,” said Nigel Cooper, BCD M&E managing director, EMEA. “We saw a strong cultural fit with the organization and realised our services are stronger together than apart. In addition to the expanded capabilities, no other organization can offer an end-to-end delegate management solution such as this.”

Grass Roots Meetings & Events manages more than £150 million of meeting spend, drives compliance within organisations and focuses on improving the performance of meetings and events programs. The company operates meetings and events services from locations in the UK (Fleet and London), New York, Dusseldorf, Zurich and Singapore. As specialists in strategic meetings management and delegate management, they work with three of the Big Four professional services firms, nine of the top 15 investment banks and many other global organisations.

“We have always focused on developing a team of experts with a deep understanding of not just the market but also what our customers need,” said David Taylor, MD, Grass Roots Meetings & Events. “Being a part of a global organisation that is focused on being a leader in corporate meetings and events will open new doors of opportunity for both our customers and our employees.”

Grass Roots was acquired by Blackhawk Network in 2016. Blackhawk previously shared its intention to sell the Grass Roots Meetings & Events division. Blackhawk Network will retain ownership of the Grass Roots parent company. 

Talbott Roche, Blackhawk CEO and president, added: "Under Blackhawk's management, Grass Roots Meetings & Events has made great progress in driving revenue growth and earnings, and this is reflected in the selling price achieved. As previously announced, we are divesting Grass Roots Meetings & Events, which will allow Blackhawk to focus on its core business. We are pleased with the outcome and believe that Grass Roots Meetings & Events has found the right partner to bring the business to the next stage of development."

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