VSS buys Advanstar in $1.1 billion deal

Advanstar is being acquired by private equity firm Veronis Suhler Stevenson (VSS), co-owner of Ascend Media and a controlling investor in MediZine, in a $1.1 billion deal. Advanstar, whose life sciences titles include Medical Economics, Patient Care, Drug Topics and Pharmaceutical Executive, is being sold by DLJ Merchant Banking Partners/Credit Suisse First Boston, which picked up the firm in 2000. In addition to life sciences, the firm boasts verticals in fashion and powersports, as well as apparel show MAGIC Marketplace and powersports show Dealer Expo. VSS acquired a controlling stake in Healthy Living publisher MediZine earlier in March and co-owns Ascend Media, another major medical publisher, with JP Morgan Partners. The firm sold its stake in healthcare information products company Solucient to Thomson last year and offloaded medical manufacturing trade publisher Canon on Apprise Media in 2005.