January 16, 2018 / 5:23 PM / 2 years ago

Britain's Informa in talks to buy UBM for more than £3 billion

(Reuters) - Britain’s Informa is in talks about a deal to buy events organiser UBM for more than 3 billion pounds, rekindling plans from almost a decade ago to create a major business media and conventions group.

The two companies said in a joint statement on Tuesday that they were in discussions about a share-and-cash offer, while they could announce a possible price as soon as Wednesday, two people close to the situation said.

A takeover would value UBM at more than its current market capitalisation of 3.1 billion pounds, the sources told Reuters. The two companies explored the possibility of an all-share merger in 2008, but it did not go ahead.

The most recent talks started last year after Informa, which has a valuation of 6.1 billion pounds, approached its smaller rival UBM about a possible deal, one of the sources added.

The companies were forced to put out a statement disclosing their talks on Tuesday following movements in UBM’s share price.

UBM’s shares closed up more than 5 percent, while Informa’s stock remained largely unchanged.

“There can be no certainty that any firm offer will be made or as to the terms on which any offer might be made,” the companies said in a statement. Neither company responded immediately to requests for comment.

Under Takeover Panel rules, Informa has until 1700 GMT on Feb. 13 to make an offer or walk away for at least six months.

Credit Suisse and JPMorgan Cazenove are advising UBM, while Centerview Partners, Bank of America Merrill Lynch and Barclays are working with Informa.

Reporting by Justin George Varghese in Bengaluru and Ben Martin in London; editing by Jane Merriman and Alexander Smith

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