Sunday 22 April 2018

US-focused Informa in £1.2bn business intelligence takeover

Informa employs more than 6,000 globally
Informa employs more than 6,000 globally

Ville Heiskanen and Eric Pfanner

Business intelligence and information provider Informa Plc has agreed a deal to buy Penton Information Services for £1.18bn (€1.38bn) to add exhibitions and professional services in the US to its operations.

The London-listed company will fund the purchase through new debt and equity, according to a statement yesterday. The sellers, MidOcean Partners and Wasserstein & Co, will receive about £1.1bn (€1.4bn) in cash and £76m in Informa equity.

Informa has accelerated its expansion under chief executive officer Stephen Carter, a former head of UK media regulator Ofcom who was named ceo in 2013. Informa, which has a market value of about £4.5bn, employs more than 6,000 globally across five divisions: business intelligence, academic publishing, knowledge, events and support, according to its website.

"We have been very focused on growing in the US over the last few years," Mr Carter said. "This feels to us like a natural next step in our expansion plan." Informa rose 1.3pc at 702.5 pence at 8:27am in London yesterday.

In 2014, Informa bought US trade-show and conference operator Hanley Wood Exhibitions and Virgo. The latest deal makes the US Informa's largest single market. It will generate less than 10pc of revenue in the UK after the acquisition.

Informa was undeterred by the UK's June 23 vote to leave the European Union, which caused a plunge in the pound. Informa runs 170 trade and consumer shows annually around the world, including events like World of Concrete, Arab Health and China Beauty Expo. The company also owns research firms such as Ovum and Datamonitor and academic publishers including Taylor & Francis Group. (Bloomberg)

Irish Independent

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