To PE or not PE? That is the question

And they’re off! The 8th annual EN Race Day returns to Sandown Park on 19th September. The event offers attendees the opportunity to network with industry peers in a relaxed atmosphere following the morning’s lively and educational debate by a panel of industry experts. Plus the chance to maybe win a few bob on the horses!

We look forward to seeing you there!!

Sponsors and Partners


To PE or not PE? That is the question

It’s a subject that many in the exhibition industry will have considered at one point or another: What will you say if and when a private equity firm comes knocking? One the one hand it could spell financial reward, stability and growth, on the other it could spell an increased focus on profit, targets and short-term gain.

The 2018 debate will feature industry experts debating an issue that has defined exhibitions in recent years: private equity investment and the impact – good and bad – it’s having on our industry.

The discussion, which will include an audience Q&A, will not only look at the overall impact of private equity, but also cover the possibilities, practicalities and potential pitfalls for business owners considering taking the plunge. The panel will also discuss how to get your company fit for PE.


Denzil Rankine

Denzil Rankine

Denzil Rankine is founder and executive chairman of AMR International, the world-leading strategy consultancy firm that is guiding the transformation of the events industry. His experience spans over 30 years of advising companies globally on strategic development and acquisition.

Denzil has been involved in all the major deals in the events industry around the world over the past two decades, as well as dozens of smaller transactions. His work has also supported the turnaround and transformation of organisers in Europe and the Americas, as well as numerous other growth and performance improvement initiatives.

Denzil is recognised as a thought leader in the events industry and is a regular speaker at events industry conferences. He is the author of six M&A related books, including Commercial Due Diligence - A guide to reducing risk in acquisitions (Financial Times), Why Acquisitions Fail (FT Prentice Hall) and Acquisition Essentials (FT Prentice Hall).


Russell Wilcox

Russell Wilcox

Russell Wilcox is Chief Executive Officer of Clarion Events. Russell joined Clarion in 2008 following the buyout of the company by Veronis Suhler Stevenson, and has led the company’s expansion into new international markets and product sectors.

He has been a Board Member since 2010, and became CEO in 2013, since when he and the management team have completed the sale of the business to Providence Equity Partners (2014) and subsequently a further private equity exit to Blackstone in 2017.

In that time the business has pursued an aggressive growth strategy to diversify and expand its portfolio mix, completing more than 20 acquisitions whilst continuing to deliver strong organic growth.
Russell has held a variety of management and board positions in the global events industry during his career in publishing and events. He has managed business operations in Europe, Asia, Africa and the US, and has experience across a wide range of formats and business models.

Amanda Barnes

Amanda Barnes

Amanda had a career in the City before joining the world of publishing and events. Her experience spans publishing, digital media, events, conferences and exhibitions. She led a management buy-out of Faversham House in December 2010 and subsequently bought out her private equity partners in 2013.

With her fellow directors, she has been responsible for repositioning the company as a multi-media business information provider building on the company’s strong brands in utilities, sustainability and visual communications.

Phil Soar

Phil Soar

Philip Soar is a renowned industry figure and holds many key roles including Chairman and Chief Executive CloserStill Media, Chairman of Brand Events and Chairman of Nineteen Events. Previously Philip has been CEO of De Agostini Publishing, Blenheim and Marshall Cavendish.

Outside of the industry he has enjoyed being the CEO and Chairman of Nottingham Forest Football Club and is the official historian of both Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur football clubs. In the last 20 years he has conducted 10 private equity deals and is exceedingly well placed to discuss this key topic.

Jonny Burr

Jonny is currently a Director at Mobeus Equity Partners, a leading investor in small UK buyouts. He has been active in the PE industry since 2007 and has worked at some of the best performing buyout funds in the UK, originating new MBOs and growth capital investments across a range of sectors from healthcare to holidays, education and software.


Welcome refreshments and registration


Drinks Reception

Lunch, networking and tipster

First race

Last race

Event concludes

EN Race Day 2017

Watch the Video



Sandown Park is in a picturesque parkland setting in the town of Esher, Surrey, with superb travel links. Located within the M25 it is only 25 minutes by train from London Waterloo or 15 miles from south west London.

How to get there

Travelling by road

From London, take the A3 and follow the brown venue signs to Sandown Park. Alternatively, from the M25, exit at Junction 10 and follow the A3 towards London then exit onto the A307 and follow the brown venue signs. If using a Sat Nav, please enter 'Portsmouth Road' rather than the Sandown Park postcode - this will bring you to our main car park which is just off the A307 (Esher High Street) and is directly in front of the main entrance.

Parking on a raceday

Parking is free in the centre of the racecourse, which you can reach from the More Lane entrance. Alternatively, for £6 you can park in the main car park off the Portsmouth Road. Coach parking is free - just follow the Sandown Park signposts on all approach routes and park in the area off the Portsmouth Road. There are allocated disabled parking spaces in the main Portsmouth Road car park, which is free of charge to all blue badge holders. The parking is very close to the main entrance and the grandstand.

Travelling by rail

Esher rail station is just a 10 minute flat walk from the main entrance and can be reached by crossing the centre of the course on racedays. We also provide a complimentary minibus on all racedays from the station to the Main Grandstand Foyer entrance (and ticket collection point) for our customers arriving by train. On a non-raceday, visitors should turn left out of the station onto Station Road and then right at the T- junction to join the A307 Portsmouth Road. The entrance to Sandown Park is on the right hand side. Alternatively there is a taxi rank at the station.