6 de marzo de 2015 / 9:49 / en 3 años

UPDATE 2-ITE Group dials in to Africa events market

* Deal to add 4 mln stg to 2016 pretax profit - CEO

* Says ITE to look at small deals in Africa, India and China

* Shares up 5.4 pct (Adds CEO comments, updates share movement)

By Noor Zainab Hussain

March 6 (Reuters) - Trade exhibition organiser ITE Group Plc bought a majority stake in a portfolio of events, mostly in Africa, as the company looks to reduce its dependence on Russia, its biggest market.

ITE acquired a 50.1 percent stake in the portfolio from GPP Energy Advisors Ltd for 16 million pounds ($24 million), the company said on Friday.

The portfolio includes events such as Africa Oil Week - an oil and gas conference to be held in Cape Town in October.

ITE, which gets around 59 percent of its revenue from Russia, has been hurt by tensions across the country’s western border with Ukraine and a weaker rouble.

Chief Executive Russell Taylor said the deal with GPP would help to reduce the contribution from its Russian operations to about 40 percent of the total profit for the year ending September 2016.

Russia accounted for 61 percent of ITE's 2014 profit before central overheads in the fiscal year ended September 2014. (bit.ly/1FjMDOa)

“We are no longer just a Russian organiser, we are an international organiser now,” Chief Executive Russell Taylor told Reuters.

Taylor said the deal would be the last large acquisition for ITE in the near future, adding that the company would make mostly small deals in Africa, China and India over the next two to three years.

Taylor said these deals could be worth 3-5 million pounds.

The deal with GPP is expected to add about 4 million pounds to ITT’s pretax profit in 2016, the company said.

ITE also said put and call options were in place to enable the company to buy the remaining stake in the portfolio from GPP.

ITE, which organises over 240 exhibitions and conferences each year, said it would fund the deal partly through an institutional placing of 12 million pounds.

Shares in ITE were up 5.4 percent at 184.75 pence at 1330 GMT on the London Stock Exchange. (Editing by Anand Basu and Saumyadeb Chakrabarty)

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