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Informa Bidders Withdraw

September 19 2008

In the UK, a private equity consortium behind a rejected offer to take over Datamonitor-owner Informa has officially pulled out of the bidding.

In a statement issued to the London Stock Exchange, the consortium - comprising Providence Equity Partners, The Carlyle Group and The Blackstone Group - said that it had withdrawn its proposal following's Informa's decision to turn down its £1.9m reduced offer.

The consortium initially made a £2.15bn bid for Informa in June, but earlier this month it reduced the offer from 506p per share to 450p per share, which Informa rejected, saying it undervalued the company.

In response, the Informa Board commented: 'We recognise that recent events in the credit markets have made it highly challenging to fund any offer. Notwithstanding this, the Board remains confident about the group's prospects for the full year and confirms that current trading is in line with the Board's expectations.'

The Board also confirmed that it is not in talks with any other parties. However, the consortium reserves the right to make or take part in any future offer for the company within the next six months. Private equity firm Hellman & Friedman, which was originally part of the consortium, has also reserved the right to make a bid for Informa during the next six months.

Earlier in the year, Informa also came close to merging with former NOP-owner United Business Media (UBM), but talks broke down after UBM said it had failed to gain a good enough deal for its shareholders.

This morning, Informa's share price dropped by 9.4%, after the consortium backed out of the bid which was 32% above Informa's closing share price yesterday of 342 pence. However, the share price has since bounced back 3.5%, to 354 pence.

Informa has built up debt of around £1.24bn through a series of acquisitions, including market research company Datamonitor which it bought last year

Web site: www.informa.com .

All articles 2006-21 written and edited by Mel Crowther and/or Nick Thomas unless otherwise stated.

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