Business publishers Informa has been approached by private equity group Candover and Cinven, in a bid to create a European publishing giant worth more than £4bn.
Informa is the largest publicly-owned organiser of conferences and courses in the world and publishes over 2,000 subscription-based information services. Its magazines portfolio includes insurance and banking titles The Review and Banking Technology, telecom and media magazines plus law, maritime and transport publications.
Condover and Cinven already owns Springer Science and Business Media, the world's second largest academic publisher in the science, technology, medicine sector and the market leading b2b publisher in German-speaking and Eastern European countries. Combing Informa with Springer Science would create one of the world's biggest publishing companies –rivalling Reed-Elsevier and VNU.
Informa confirmed that an approach had been made by Candover and Cinven but said it had been "highly preliminary" and discussions were at "an extremely early stage".