Belfast Telegraph

Informa and UBM revive takeover talks to create industry heavyweight

Informa said it would forge a market-leading business-to-business information services firm.

Publisher and events firm Informa plans to thrash out a £9 billion tie-up with rival UBM, reviving takeover talks that fell through nearly a decade ago.

The group said it would forge a market-leading business-to-business information services firm, with Informa tabling a share and cash offer for the entire share capital of UBM.

The offer, which represents a 30% premium of the two companies’ share price on Monday, would see UBM shareholders receive 1.083 Informa shares and 163 pence in cash for each UBM share.

The announcement builds on a stock market update late on Tuesday, when UBM’s share price climbed in response to rumours that the two companies were revisiting a merger first mooted in 2008.

Shares in Informa were down more than 9% in morning trading on the London market, while UBM’s stock soared 12%.

Informa chief executive Stephen Carter said: “It is clear that the B2B market is moving to operating scale and industry specialisation.

“The combined group will have the reach and market capabilities to take full advantage of these trends.”

The move would see Mr Carter become chief executive of the combined firm, with Informa chairman Derek Mapp holding on to his position at the head of a board consisting of seven non-executive directors.

If the deal is secured, Informa investors will own 65.5% of the company and UBM shareholders 34.5%.

Mr Carter added: “We are today proposing the creation of a B2B Information Services Group, which will be ideally positioned to serve a market demanding ever greater operating scale and industry specialisation.

“The combined group will have the international reach, operational capabilities and cash flow to pursue the full growth opportunities this creates.”

Under chief executive Tim Cobbold, UBM has exited non-core operations to focus on its events business.

It sold its last magazine title, the construction industry publication Building, earlier this month.

UBM also owned Express Newspapers, Property Week, The Publican and Music Week, but has shifted its focus on events, conferences and exhibitions, such as fashion shows in the US and jewellery expositions in the UK.

Informa specialises in B2B events, business intelligence and academic publishing, and has a presence in North America, South America, Asia, Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

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