Crain Communications Ltd., the London-based publisher of Urethanes Technology International and co-creator of the UTECH concept, has assumed full control of the polyurethane industry events, effective April 3.
The move was prompted by the retirement of Tony Kenter owner of Industrial Promotions International BV, of Goor, Netherlands, and co-creator of the UTECH events on reaching his 65th birthday, as specified in the original joint venture agreement with Crain, said Paul Mitchell, managing director of Crain's London operation.
No financial details were revealed, and IPI will continue to operate independently under its own management, with Crain taking full responsibility for all aspects of the UTECH and PU events throughout the world.
Since 1986, the partners have combined resources to organize a series of major exhibitions and international conferences for the polyurethanes sector, with regular events in Europe, Asia, China, Latin America and, more recently, North America.
The hand-over followed UTECH Europe 2009, held March 31 to April 2 in Maastricht, Netherlands, but the changing of the guard has been under discussion for some time, according to Mitchell.
He explained in an April 7 statement that back in 1984, when discussions on the concept first began, Crain Communications saw itself as a magazine publisher and had limited knowledge of the exhibition world.
We were pleased to sign an agreement with Tony Kenter's IPI company, [which] had extensive experience of exhibition organization, Mitchell added.
The combination proved to be highly effective, he said.
The first UTECH event, held in 1986 in The Hague, Netherlands, was a resounding success. More than 1,800 people visited that event, with more than 500 attending a three-day inside conference that featured a keynote presentation by the late Kurt Frisch, a PU industry pioneer, as well as senior industry specialists discussing technical and commercial topics.
Mitchell said that UTECH has helped the entire PU industry recognize that it has a unique identity. The value of bringing all the components of the industry together is now well-recognized and with the latest move, UTECH looks set for a solid future under Crain management, he said.
Even in these difficult times ... [UTECH] attracts more than 2,500 polyurethane specialists, all keen to find a profitable way forward for their companies, despite the current situation.
Under the unified control now created, we are confident that the value of this event will continue to grow, alongside the world's most dynamic and versatile polymer technology, Mitchell said.
Crain Communications Ltd. is a subsidiary of Plastics News' parent company, Crain Communications Inc., which is headquartered in Detroit.
Apart from Urethanes Technology International and its recently launched Urethanes Technology North America edition, Crain publications covering the PU sector include Plastics News, Rubber and Plastics News and Tire Business in North America, as well as Plastics and Rubber Weekly and European Plastics News in Europe.