Informa stepping up growth with £1.2bn swoop on US rival

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Informa, the British exhibitions and databases business, today bought one of its US rivals in a  £1.2 billion deal which is part of “growth acceleration plan”.

It is buying Penton Information Services from private-equity firms MidOcean and Wasserstein and the US firm’s senior management. 

Penton runs 30 major exhibitions including Natural Products Expo and Farm Progress in the US. It also owns online publications like Aviation Week and Equipment Watch.

“We have been very focused on growing in the US over the last few years,” chief executive Stephen Carter said. “This feels to us like a natural next step in our expansion plan.”

Shareholders are being asked to stump up £715 million of the cost through a fully underwritten rights issue at 441p a share. That is a deep discount to the current share price, which rose 7p to 700.5p on the news. 

Carter said: “Following extensive and exclusive talks with Penton’s owners and management, today’s announcement signals the next step in GAP, underlining our commitment to accelerated growth and international scale whilst delivering attractive returns for our shareholders.

“The opportunity created through the combination of Informa and Penton balances our portfolio and increases our scale and reach.”

Informa said it expected the takeover to boost its earnings per share in the first year.

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September 15, 2016 |
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