Continuing its spate of acquisitions around Europe, MCI, the largest global association and event management company, announced it will merge with Ovation Group, Ireland’s leading meetings, events, and destination management company.

Already this year MCI had acquired Procon, an incentive and event management company in Vienna, and StoCon, a professional conference organizer in Stockholm. Those deals followed others in 2006, including a new global partnership with SmithBucklin, the largest U.S.-based association management company.

In an interview with Beyond Borders Extra, Robin Lokerman, CEO of MCI's Institutional Division, said the Ovation merger is a solid fit for MCI’s overall growth strategy. "MCI is committed to being the leading global association, communications, and events management group," he said. "This means we want to have a presence in all the major markets, and Ovation is the leader in Ireland as a DMC, a meetings and events company, and a PCO."

According to Lokerman, MCI's rapid growth will benefit not only planners based in Europe, but also those in the United States. "MCI is the ideal partner for U.S.-based planners, as we can be their partner anywhere in the world. We can guarantee a consistent high quality of service, state-of-the-art processes and systems, and full dedication to long-term client relationships, which drives efficiency and enhances the quality of our clients' projects."

Those meetings in Ireland will continue to interface with the same team at Ovation. Co-founders Patrick Delaney and Padraig Gilligan retain full responsibility for the newly named MCI Dublin and MCI Belfast. Delaney said in a statement, "Ireland is set to benefit enormously from this merger as Dublin, Belfast, and other key meetings and events locations will now be offered to MCI's considerable customer portfolio."