PUBLISHED: 16:55 16/01/18 UPDATED: 15:20 17/01/18
Shares in international event organiser Informa dropped 8% on 17 January, the day after a statement was released by UBM’s group company secretary Mark Peters announcing that two of the world’s largest events organisers, UBM and Informa, were in merger discussions. It is understood Informa had made a £3.8bn offer for UBM. Under the proposed equity deal Informa shareholders could end up with two-thirds of the new enterprise.
However, the deal is still to be struck and a statement made as the news broke on 16 January ran: “Further to the recent UBM share price movement, the Boards of UBM and Informa confirm that they are in discussions regarding a potential combination of the two companies, to be effected by way of an acquisition of the entire issued and to be issued share capital of UBM by Informa for shares and cash consideration (the “Potential Combination”).
“UBM and Informa are in preliminary discussions about the details of the Potential Combination, which is subject to a number of standard conditions.
“There can be no certainty that any firm offer will be made or as to the terms on which any offer might be made. Informa reserves the right to introduce other forms of consideration and/or vary the mix or composition of consideration of any offer. Shareholders will be kept updated as appropriate.
“In accordance with Rule 2.6(a) of the Code, Informa will have until 5.00pm on 13 February 2018, being 28 days after today’s date, to either announce a firm intention to make an offer for UBM in accordance with Rule 2.7 of the Code or announce that it does not intend to make such an offer, in which case the announcement will be treated as a statement to which Rule 2.8 of the Code applies. This deadline may be extended with the consent of the Takeover Panel in accordance with Rule 2.6(c) of the Code.”
UBM is the largest pure-play B2B Events organiser in the world, while Informa has more than 7,500 colleagues globally, with a presence in North America, South America, Asia, Europe, the Middle East and Africa.
The combined group will be, said Informa chief executive Stephen Carter as part of a joint statement, “ideally positioned to serve a market demanding ever greater operating scale and industry specialisation”. Any combined group will likely have the international reach, operational capabilities and cashflow to pursue major growth opportunities this creates.
The two companies first explored a merger 10 years ago, and the renewed attempt at merger appears to be driven by a need to build greater scale across conventions.