UK media group rejects reduced £1.9bn bid

The reduced takeover offer for Informa, publisher of Lloyd's List, by Providence Equity Partners, The Carlyle Group and The Blackstone Group has come after a shake-up in the original consortium that offered £2.15bn for the company in late June.

Informa: publisher
of Lloyd's List

Informa, a UK business media group, has rejected a reduced £1.9 billion ($3.4 billion) takeover bid by a consortium consisting of private equity firms Providence Equity Partners, The Carlyle Group and The Blackstone Group.

The company’s chairman, Derek Mapp, said in a statement that the consortium’s offer of 450 pence per share “significantly undervalues Informa”. In late June, Carlyle, Providence and Hellman & Friedman approached Informa with a proposal to acquire the company for 506 pence per share – an offer price which would have valued the company at £2.15 billion.

The reduced offer came after Hellman & Friedman dropped out of the original consortium and was replaced by Blackstone.

A takeover of Informa, which owns more than 2,000 trade publications and organizes more than 10,000 conferences annually, would have been one of the biggest leveraged buyouts in the UK since the global credit crisis began last summer.

“Interest in Informa has demonstrated the attractiveness of the company's business model, the quality of its assets and people. The business going forward is well positioned to grow and deliver value to shareholders,” Informa chief executive Peter Rigby said in a statement.

Providence revealed its interest in a private equity takeover after merger talks broke down on 17 June between Informa and United Business Media, the publisher of Information Week and owner of PR Newswire. At the time, Informa's shares traded at 435 pence.

Informa shares ended the day down nearly 7 percent from market open on 5 September, at 385.75 pence.