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Informa to Acquire UBM for Reported $5.2 Billion

Hil Anderson
, Senior Editor
January 17, 2018
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London — Informa has struck a deal to acquire UBM. The deal worth about $5.2 billion will expand Informa’s presence in the U.S. exhibitions market.

The two companies did not immediately confirm the agreement, which was reported Jan. 17 by multiple British outlets. UBM told Trade Show Executive (TSE) they could not comment on the reports due to British securities laws; Informa has until Feb. 13 to present a formal offer. 

The London Stock Exchange sent UBM share prices up nearly 12% in late afternoon trading Wednesday while Informa slipped 5.67%.

The combination of UBM and Informa bolsters the footprint of the two already major London-based players in the global trade show industry. Both companies already have sizable presence in the world market, including the U.S. where they organize such landmark shows as MAGIC, Licensing Expo, and World of Concrete.

The official announcement from Informa said that under the proposed cash-and-stock deal, 65.5% of the combined companies would be owned by Informa shareholders and 34.5% by UBM shareholders.

Talks to merge the two major players previously had been underway in 2008, but ultimately, an agreement was not reached.

“It is clear the b-to-b market is moving to operating scale and industry specialization,” Informa Group Chief Executive Stephen Carter said in the announcement. “The combined group will have the reach and market capabilities to take full advantage of these trends."

UBM placed four shows on the most recent Trade Show Executive Gold 100 while Informa had three events; there was one UBM show on the Fastest 50.

Informa and UBM both made major inroads in the U.S. via acquisitions in the current decade. Informa acquired Penton in 2016 and Hanley Wood Exhibitions in 2014. UBM acquired Advanstar Communications in 2014 and Canon Communications in 2010.

Reach Charles McCurdy, President & CEO of Informa’s Global Exhibitions division, at +44 (0) 20 7017 5000 or charlie.mccurdy@informa.com; Scott Schulman, CEO of UBM Americas, at (212) 600-3000 or sschulman@ubm.com

 

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