Clarion Events: Company Profile

Clarion: Grow up and stop selling arms
  • In 2004 Clarion Events was formed when the chief executive Simon Kimble led a £45 million buy - out (backed by Hg Capital) and bought it from its Earls Court and Olympia Group owners
  • In 2008 the private equity firm VSS came on board, buying Clarion Events from backers HG Capital for £120 million. Veronis Suhler Stevenson left the existing management in place and left both CEO Simon Kimble and COO Tim Pilcher with significant shareholdings
  • Clarion's current turnover is more than £80m, and profits have grown fourfold since Kimble's buy - out in 2004. Clarion have also stocked up on arms fairs, and currently own seven arm fairs internationally
  • Clarion Events set up and own a special company, Clarion Defence and Security, to manage their collection of arms fairs. Clarion Events CEO and COO, Simon Kimble and Tim Pilcher, reappear as the company directors of Clarion Defence and Security.
  • Clarion have four UK offices, and 9 worldwide. You can find a full list with contact details here. Their arms fairs are also international, taking place from America to Abu Dhabi, and cover arms and security equipment for land, sea, and air. You can arrange to purchase everything from a battleship, to a hawk fighter jet, to an unmanned drone at a Clarion show.
  • The UK department for Trade and Investment spends taxpayers' money helping Clarion to organise DSEI, and they share responsibility for the invite list. The government have to approve official delegations, but Clarion are responsible for inviting lower-level staff and private individuals. In 2009, a delegation from China attended DSEI, despite being under an EU arms embargo.
  • Clarion are an events organisers with a taste for the eclectic. As well as some of the world's largest arms fairs, they organise the Baby Shows in Birmingham, London and Manchester, and the 'Spirit of Summer' and 'Spirit of Christmas' fairs. You can see a full list of their events on the Clarion website.
Page updated 7 July 2011
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