Informa makes £3.8bn swoop for UBM, creating the world's biggest business events company

By Johan De Mulder

Informa has agreed to buy rival events organiser UBM for £3.8bn in a long-overdue merger, creating the biggest business of its kind globally.

The pair had previously held discussions about joining forces a decade ago, but on Wednesday Informa's acquisition was confirmed at a price of 964 pence per share.

UK-based Informa and UBM have combined revenues of £2.2bn, with the new entity set to have a market value of close to £9bn and a far wider reach into a range of industrial sectors.

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"It is clear that the B2B Market is moving to Operating Scale and Industry Specialisation," said Informa’s Chief Executive Stephen A. Carter. "The Combined Group will have the reach and market capabilities to take full advantage of these trends."

UBM - founded as a media publisher at the end of the First World War - still has considerable interest in that sector, with a 20% stake in UK broadcaster ITN.

According to the Daily Telegraph, Informa has streamlined its business to focus on the growing events industry, securing the notable of acquisition of US-based events organiser Penton in 2016 for $1.2bn. It currently employs 6,500 workers in 43 countries around the world.

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