UBM and Incisive linked to Centaur sale

Centaur: expressions of interest

Centaur Communications is believed to be for sale, with United Business Media and Incisive Media tipped as frontrunners to buy the group.

Emap, Informa and Wilmington are also thought to be in the frame for a cash deal which could be completed within months.

A source said: “Centaur is a private equity backed business and it is understood the venture capitalists want out.

It has been up for sale for some months, but it’s thought that talks are some way down the line.”

It is understood Centaur’s chairman and CEO, Graham Sherren, is also keen to tie up a deal before October 2004. “There have been some discreet expressions of interest, but his approval would be paramount,” the source added.

Tim Weller’s Incisive is thought to have expressed an interest, having already acquired the Risk Waters group for £35.2m in April. Centaur titles such as Money Marketing and Mortgage Strategy would fit with Incisive’s personal finance portfolio, which includes Investment Week and Wealth Magazine.

Centaur employs more than 6oo staff and publishes magazines in the engineering, marketing, law and financial markets. Its best-known titles include The Lawyer, Marketing Week, Design Week, New Media Age and The Engineer. It declined to comment.

By Ruth Addicott

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