UBM sells PR Newswire to Cision

 

PR NewswireUBM plc has agreed to sell PR Newswire to Cision, a provider of public relations software, for $841m.

Cision, which is controlled by Chicago-based private equity group GTCR, acquired media monitoring group Gorkana from private equity group Exponent for £200m last year.

PR Newswire had revenue of 195.8 million pounds in 2014, about 26 percent of UBM’s total revenue.

Terms of the deal:

  • The total sale price is $841m, $810m in cash and $31m of preferred equity
  • The total sale price of $841m is a circa 11.2 times multiple of PR Newswire’s 2014 adjusted
    earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation. The cash value of $810m represents a circa 10.8 times multiple.
  • £245m is proposed to be returned to shareholders by way of a special dividend.
  • Net cash proceeds received on completion are expected to be approximately £498m after adjustments for transaction expenses, debt-like items, tax and a contribution of £10m to UBM’s pension scheme

The agreement is subject to anti-trust clearance in the US. Completion is expected late in Q1 2016

Tim Cobbold, Chief Executive of UBM plc, said: “Today’s announcement represents a significant step in the execution of UBM’s “Events First” strategy, the objective of which is to become the world’s leading focused B2B Events business. The Board is confident that this transaction realises excellent value for our shareholders.

Following the successful acquisition of Advanstar in 2014, the disposal of PR Newswire further increases our focus on the attractive, high growth and high margin events sector with more than 80% of UBM’s continuing revenues generated in Events. In addition, the retained sales proceeds will increase our capacity to invest in bolt-on acquisitions to strengthen the portfolio and grow the
business faster, whilst maintaining appropriate financial discipline.”

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