Northern Restaurant & Bar Acquired by Diversified Communications UK

PORTLAND, Maine – Today, Diversified Communications announced its UK division has acquired Northern Restaurant & Bar (NR&B) – the highly successful annual trade show in The United Kingdom, which brings together operators and suppliers, representing and leading the hospitality sector in the North of England.

Diversified Communications UK will own and operate NR&B as part of its industry-leading food and hospitality portfolio which includes lunch!, Casual Dining, Commercial Kitchen, and Natural & Organic Products Europe.

“As Diversified’s second acquisition in as many months, we are pleased to be executing on our inorganic growth goals with another strategic addition to the portfolio,” stated Diversified’s Corporate VP of Strategy & Corporate Development, Oakley Dyer. “Working closely with leadership in each division, we continue to seek acquisition opportunities that are aligned with their strategies and portfolios.”

NR&B, held at Manchester Central last March, was the most successful to date, with 8,416 visitors, 296 exhibitors, and around 60 speakers. This success, driven by the event’s high-quality content and seminar program, and the quality of operators who come to the event each year, has been led by Thom Hetherington, CEO of Holden Media, and Andy Clayfield, Event Director, NR&B. Although Hetherington will be leaving to focus on his non-Executive roles and hospitality and cultural consultancy, Clayfield will remain with the show and join Diversified Communications UK as Commercial Director.

Commenting on the news, Diversified UK’s MD Carsten Holm says: “It’s great to be welcoming Northern Restaurant & Bar, together with Andy Clayfield, to Diversified Communications. This is an important development for Diversified’s UK business. It’s a great fit for our other successful events in this space, with real synergies across the shows, which will result in tangible benefits for visitors, sponsors, and exhibitors across all events.”

Hetherington agrees: “I am so proud of what we have achieved since acquiring NR&B almost 20 years ago. We had a very clear vision for the event, which was to make Northern hospitality feel proud of it and part of it. Whilst I have enjoyed every single minute of the past 20 years, the time has come to hand over the baton. I am therefore delighted that we have been able to find a new long-term home for NR&B in a company that shares our values and philosophy and has a very similar culture and work ethos to our own. Being part of Diversified Communications will give NR&B the support required to drive the show forward, unlocking the considerable potential for the event, its exhibitors, and of course, visitors.”

Clayfield also welcomed the announcement: “This is good news for our market, and I look forward to working as part of the Diversified team and continuing to serve the market as the leading event for hospitality in the North.”

NR&B, which will celebrate its 22nd edition at Manchester Central, March 14-15, 2023 (, has become the must-attend event for anyone involved in hospitality in the North of England. The event also hosts the prestigious NR&B Top 50, the annual celebration of the most important and influential individuals within the Northern hospitality industry.

Mayfield Merger Strategies acted as adviser to NR&B owners, Holden Media.


Diversified Communications is a leading international media company with a portfolio of face-to-face exhibitions and conferences, online communities, and digital and print publications. As producers of these market-leading products Diversified Communications connects, educates, and strengthens business communities in over 15 industries including food and beverage, healthcare, natural and organic, business management, and technology. Established in 1949 and headquartered in Portland, Maine, USA with divisions and offices around the world, Diversified Communications remains a privately held, third-generation, family-owned business.
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Diversified Communications UK is a successful trade event organiser and publisher based in Brighton, with market-leading events throughout the UK and in Europe.  In addition to the newly acquired event, Diversified UK’s portfolio includes Natural & Organic Products Europe; Natural Products Scandinavia; Nordic Organic Food Fair; Organic Food Iberia, lunch!; Casual Dining; GEO Business; Digital Construction Week, Ocean Business; Commercial Kitchen, Marelec, SITS – The Service Desk & IT Support Show; Coach & Bus UK, EuroBus, RouteOne magazine, Route One Awards, British Tourism & Travel Show, Accountex, Accountex North, Accountex Espana and Natural Products magazine.
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