B2B giant Informa was forced yesterday to reveal “preliminary discussions” of a deal worth as much as £3bn to buy events rival UBM, creating the world’s biggest company of its kind.
Founded in 1998, Informa hosts global exhibitions, conferences, training events and academic publishing.
It owns several publishing brands, operating in 43 countries worldwide. Notable names include shipping news journal Lloyds List, Academic publisher Routledge, and market intelligence firm Datamonitor.
UBM was founded in 1918 as United Newspapers, and has owned publications including the Daily Express, Property week and PR Newswire.
After selling most of its publishing business in 2015, it rebranded to primarily focus on B2B events. It still retains several titles including the UK’s oldest B2B magazine Building and UBM Medica, one of the largest healthcare media publishers in the US.
Discussions regarding the terms and conditions of the deal are taking place, but the combined value of the two is tipped at £9bn.
Lord Carter, chief executive of Informa, told the Times: “It is clear that the B2B [business-to-business] market is moving to operating scale and industry specialisation. The combined group will have the reach and market capabilities to take full advantage of these trends.
“The combined group will have the international reach, operational capabilities and cashflow to pursue the full growth opportunities this creates.”