London-based academic and business publishing and events group, Informa, has agreed to buy rival market intelligence firm Datamonitor in a £502 million ($993 million) cash deal.
The offer – which is due to close in the next two months – is worth £6.50 per share – a 2.2% premium on Friday's closing price and 35.7% above the average closing price of the last 12 months. The deal gives Datamonitor an estimated value of 7.3 times its 2006 revenue of £70.4m.
Datamonitor provides online information in the healthcare and technology sectors, while business information publisher, Informa, produces more than 2,000 different titles including Lloyd's List, and runs around 10,000 conferences a year.
David Gilbertson, Managing Director of Informa, said: 'Datamonitor is a model example of a company that slots neatly into the Informa group. The acquisition will add depth to the company's proprietary data, take it into new sectoral coverage and allow cross marketing of products. This business will grow faster and better because of the acquisition.'
Michael Danson, Chief Executive of Datamonitor who started the company in 1989, will remain in post for 12 months. He has agreed to invest £5 million in Informa shares and hold them until Informa's 2008 results are announced. The future management structure will be agreed in the next six months, but Datamonitor will continue to trade as a separate company with its own brand.
Last November Informa rejected a £2.7 billion offer from Germany's Springer Science & Business Media saying it significantly undervalued the company.
The takeover comes as Thomson Financial pursues the £8 billion plus acquisition of Reuters in an attempt to create the world's largest financial information supplier.
In 2006 Informa posted a 53% rise to £178.1 million in adjusted pretax profit. Datamonitor, which has acquired seven companies since 2002, saw a surge in its share price earlier today; up 16.5p at £6.54 in early trading. The companies are online at www.informa.com and www.datamonitor.com .
All articles 2006-20 written and edited by Mel Crowther and/or Nick Thomas unless otherwise stated.