Informa, a London-headquartered publisher and events company, is in discussions to acquire rival UBM in a deal which could possibly be worth as much as £3bn.
A tie-up between the two firms would create the largest business-to-business events company in the world, with more than 11,000 employees at the two companies.
Both firms were forced to disclose the “preliminary discussions” following the rise of the shares in FTSE 250-listed UBM today. In a joint statement, the two companies said that there was no certainty that an offer would be made.
The initial approach was made by Informa, an FTSE 100 firm, which has until the 13th of February to make an offer, or else, it will be forced to withdraw its interest.
The move of Informa comes 16 months after it acquired Penton, its US rival, for £1.2bn, as it aims to create an international business events powerhouse with the scale to draw in the most valuable clientele to conferences and exhibitions.
A deal with UBM would establish a firm with significant scale in the United States and China, as well as in other growth markets including Brazil and some countries in the Middle East. UBM calls itself a “pure-play” events company, whereas Informa has extensive business information and publishing interests.
Today, the shares in UBM grew by over five percent, resulting in a market capitalisation of nearly £3.1bn. On the other hand, shares in Informa were mostly unmoved.
The advisers of UBM on the said deal are JP Morgan Cazenove and Credit Suisse while the advisers of Informa are Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Barclays, and Centerview Partners.