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A 2007 strategic review by parent company dmgworldmedia took the decision to downsize their worldwide interests in the antiques business, which led to the Palm Beach event being sold back to its founder David Lester in June and then the management buyout of ATG and all its ancillary businesses.

However, the organisers of the Newark and Ardingly showground fairs have been quick to dismiss any suggestion of a fire sale of their assets, saying that the events suit dmgworldmedia’s profile as “primarily a trade show company”.

“We have no current plans to sell the fairs,” Jason Franks, European vice president of DMG Antique Fairs, told ATG. “Whilst they are not fast growing, they have a strong management, produce reliable revenues and we are able to run them with little investment in cash or senior management time. In fact recent bookings and attendances at Newark, Ardingly, Detling, Shepton and Avignon have been very positive.”

Despite the recent sales, dmg remain the world’s biggest antiques fair organisers, owning the quartet of UK showground events as well as the Avignon International Fair and seven fairs in the USA, including the Miami Beach Antique Show.

By Roland Arkell