Informa chief takes b2b helm at Emap

Informa chief executive David Gilbertson has been appointed chief executive of the b2b arm of Emap.

Former journalist Gilbertson took over at Emap Communications on Thursday (20 March) when its acquisition by a joint venture between private equity firm Apax Partners and the Guardian Media Group is completed.

The sale marked the end of the wholly British-owned publishing company Emap after 60 years in operation. The move followed the sale of Emap’s consumer and radio divisions to German company H. Bauer for £1.14 bn in January.

Gilbertson’s appointment means the end of an almost 30-year career at Emap for its b2b arm’s current chief executive, Derek Carter, who is leaving the company when the sale is complete.

Gilbertson, 50, has held senior positions with Reuters, Reed Elsevier and LLP Group. He was a member of the management buy-out team that acquired LLP from Lloyd’s of London in 1995, and became its chief executive in 1997.

He took LLP to flotation on the London Stock Exchange in 1998 and became chief executive of Informa Group plc on its formation following the merger of LLP and IBC in December 1998.

He said: ‘Emap already has market-leading brands and positions in major business sectors and I believe these will provide a strong platform for growth both organically and through acquisition over the next few years.”

GMG and Apax bought Emap’s b2b publishing arm and events business – which includes magazines such as Broadcast and Construction News – last year in a £1.2bn deal through a newly incorporated company called Eden Bidco.

The landscape of the b2b publishing industry is changing rapidly. Last month, Reed Elsevier announced it was selling off its business magazine arm, Reed Business Information, which owns Computer Weekly and Estates Gazette. Apax has been tipped to become involved in the bidding for the division.

Centaur Media, home to Design Week and Creative Review, is also said to be considering a strategic review, which could lead to a management buyout to take the company private.

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