B2B powerhouse Informa has agreed to acquire exhibitions giant UBM in a deal worth nearly $6 billion, including debt, reports the Financial Times (subscription required). The merger will create the largest operator of business events and exhibitions in the world.
Informa shareholders will own 65.5 percent of the combined group, with UBM shareholders holding the balance.
The two companies pursued a merger several years ago but never struck a deal, according to the FT, which quotes Informa CEO Stephen Carter as saying, “The business-to-business information market is very different today. Ten years ago, people were questioning whether this was the end of face-to-face contact. But demand for the value of face-to-face connectivity has gone up."
The deal comes a little more than a year after Informa completed its purchase of Penton for $1.56 billion or what appeared to be a 10x multiple.
In a keynote at Connectiv’s 2016 Executive Summit, Stephen Carter said Academic Publishing drove the majority of Informa’s revenue (37 percent), while the company’s Business Intelligence group, which includes subscription products such as Lloyds List and Ovum, generated the majority of Informa’s revenue at $425 million or 23 percent. Global Exhibitions generated $400 million or 22 percent of Informa’s total. Knowledge & Networking, which included media and conferences drove 18% of total revenue.