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Exhibitions firm Informa buys US-based Penton in £1.2bn deal

Published 15/09/2016

Steve Carter says the deal positions Informa to deliver
Steve Carter says the deal positions Informa to deliver "consistent growth in revenue, earnings and dividends" (Informa/PA)

Business information firm Informa has swooped for US-based Penton in a £1.2 billion deal designed to strengthen its global events business and accelerate expansion across America.

The FTSE 100 firm said the tie-up would create one of the world's largest exhibitions and events companies, with 47% of its annual pro-forma revenues coming from the US.

Informa will take charge of Penton's portfolio of 30 exhibitions and more than 100 print and digital business publications, including digital subscription data brands Equipment Watch and Aviation Week Intelligence Network.

Shares were up more than 2% following the announcement.

Informa group chief executive Steve Carter said: "Together with our growth acceleration plan, the addition of Penton Information Services creates further balance and breadth across the group portfolio.

"This powerful combination will enhance our operational fitness and business capabilities, positioning Informa to deliver consistent growth in r evenue, earnings and dividends."

The combined company will hold 16 of the major US brands in the Top 250 US Exhibitions, Informa said.

Penton's "fast-growing portfolio" of exhibitions, includes the Natural Products Expo, Farm Progress and the Waste Expo.

The move to snap up Penton from MidOcean Partners and Wasserstein & Co was funded through debt and equity, including a fully underwritten rights issue of £715 million.

Liberum analyst Ian Whittaker said: "This is a good deal for Informa. Completed at an attractive valuation, it gives them added scale, they increase their proportion of exhibitions revenues whilst increasing their exposure to the growing US market."

Informa employs 6,500 people across the globe. Its flagship events include Arab Health, the China Beauty Expo and World of Concrete.

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