Thursday, September 04, 2008

Informa Bid Disappoints

The Private Equity bidders looking to grab Informa have been told in no uncertain terms to sharpen their pencils. On the basis of initial interest that pegged the value of the company over £2.obillion, the formal offer made today is significantly lower. The Times reports that the Blackstone, Carlyle and Providence Equity bid of £1.87Billion is much lower than what management expected when they allowed prospective bidders to look at their books:

The source said: “Nothing at all has changed since July to make the company believe its worth has fallen so by so much. The board agreed to open its books at an offer of 506p and that is what they think it’s worth.”

Derek Mapp, Informa’s chairman, said: “The board believes that the revised offer significantly undervalues Informa. Informa has attractive future prospects and is continuing to deliver growth across the business even in the face of a weaker economic environment.” The company confirmed that it had continued to trade in line with its expectations. Shares in Informa closed down by almost 8 per cent at 414½p yesterday.

If a deal is to be done, then this consortium looks most likely to complete it; however, it is likely that negotiations will result in only a slightly higher price if the deal goes down. There doesn't appear to be any other bidders although having said that perhaps others on the sidelines will be encouraged by a slightly lesser price.

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