Informa to divest Pharma Intelligence for £1.9bn

Informa, the international B2B markets, knowledge services and business intelligence group has agreed to divest Pharma Intelligence, the largest business within its Informa Intelligence division, to Warburg Pincus for £1.9bn, while separately commencing a share buyback.

Pharma Intelligence is a provider of specialist intelligence and data for Clinical Trials, Drug Development and Regulatory Compliance. In 2020, this business accounted for approximately 40% of Informa Intelligence reported divisional revenues of £305m and c.50% of reported divisional adjusted operating profit of £103m.

The last reported Profit Before Tax of Pharma Intelligence was £55.3m for the year ended 31 December 2020 and the last statement of Gross Assets was £479.9m, as at 30 June 2021.

The agreement with Warburg Pincus, values Pharma Intelligence at £1.9bn, equating to an EV/EBITDA multiple based on 2020 reported figures or 2021 expected outcomes.

Under the agreement, 85% of equity value will be realised immediately, equating to c.£1.7bn in cash, pre-tax, with Informa retaining a c.15% shareholding in the business going forward. This c.15% equity interest ranks pari passu with Warburg Pincus’ equity and includes customary rights in the event of a sale of the business.

The sale is expected to complete by early June subject to relevant regulatory clearances.

Adarsh Sarma, Co-Head of Europe, Warburg Pincus LLC said:

“We are delighted to be the partner of choice for Informa and to have the opportunity to acquire Pharma Intelligence with its operating management team. Pharma Intelligence plays a critical role in supporting and maintaining the ecosystem that surrounds clinical trials, drug development and regulatory compliance, and we intend to invest and significantly grow the business and its product offerings. We are also pleased to be working again with Jay Nadler, who we worked with at MLM Information Services and Interactive Data Corp and he was previously CEO of Clarivate. He will also be joining the Board of the newly separated company.”

Stephen A. Carter, Group Chief Executive, Informa PLC, commented:

“We received significant interest in the Pharma Intelligence business. We are delighted to partner with Warburg Pincus and share their view on its future growth potential, hence, we welcomed an agreement that represented value today and growth and value tomorrow.”

Share Buyback Programme

The group has previously announced its intention to return a proportion of the proceeds from the divestment of Informa Intelligence to shareholders. Following the sale agreement for the Pharma Intelligence business, Informa has entered into an arrangement with its broker, Merrill Lynch International (BofA Securities), to purchase on its behalf and within certain pre-set parameters, ordinary shares of 0.1 pence each in the Company, with the intention to cancel those shares purchased.

The programme will commence with immediate effect and run through to the AGM in June, including through the Company’s close period (30 days from 13 February to 14 March 2022). The maximum amount allocated to the initial tranche of the buyback programme will be £100m. The share buyback programme will take place in accordance with the Company’s current approved buyback authorities and be effected in accordance with Chapter 12 of the FCA’s Listing Rules. The maximum number of ordinary shares that may be repurchased under those authorities is 150,311,000.

Trading Update

Informa will report its 2021 Full Year Results on 15 March 2022. Ahead of this, Group has reported that it expects to report trading in 2021 in line with guidance of £1.8bn± Group Revenue and £375m± of Adjusted Operating Profit. Free cash flow is expected to be ahead of previous guidance of £325m+.

UK, London

Pendo acquires product management community Mind the Product

Software business Pendo has acquired Mind the Product, a product management community which provides content, training and conferences that serve a global audience of more than 300,000 product managers, designers and developers. 

“This is a tremendous day for our community of product managers around the world,” said James Mayes, CEO and co-founder of Mind the Product. “By joining Pendo, we can execute on today’s mission and think even bigger about how we will support, educate and train product teams in the future.”

Mind the Product began as a passion project for its founders in 2010. As technology startups emerged around London, with product managers playing a leading role in those companies, the team hosted its first meetup, dubbed ProductTank, in the back of a local pub. Word spread as technology ecosystems emerged in other cities too, and the group responded by partnering with local organizers to host ProductTanks around the globe. Now with a full-time team of nearly 20, all of whom will join Pendo, the London-based company provides a series of global conferences, custom product training and workshops, a popular blog and newsletter, and a subscription offering with more than 3,000 members. It also supports ProductTank meetups in more than 200 global cities and oversees the largest Slack community for product people. 

Pendo intends to keep the Mind the Product team in place to manage its conferences, content, events, and meetups, and to continue its vendor-neutral workshops and training. The acquisition supports Pendo’s goal to provide the most complete platform for product-led companies — Pendo’s software products paired with content, training and community enable companies to become product led. 

“Pendo has always made it part of our mission to elevate the craft of product management and to help product managers be better at what they do,” said Todd Olson, CEO and co-founder of Pendo. “We’re really excited to join forces with some of our earliest influencers, and offer substantially more education and resources to the global product management community for years to come.” 

Mind the Product is Pendo’s third international acquisition in five years. In 2017, Pendo acquired Insert, a mobile app engagement solution based in Israel, and in 2019, it acquired Receptive Software Limited, a UK-based product demand intelligence platform. Pendo has scaled its international operations to more than 160 people, adding nearly 100 employees in the United Kingdom, Israel, Japan and Australia in 2021. Those teams support more than 300 customers in EMEA regions and 60 customers across Asia. Mind the Product adds to the company’s global footprint both through headcount and reach. 

USA, Raleigh, NC and UK, London

With Intelligence (Pageant Media) – multiple acquisitions since February 2020

In February 2020, Intermediate Capital Group took majority control of the UK’s Pageant Media for a reported £106.5 million in a deal which is believed to have valued the company at £145m. It was the first investment by ICG’s Europe Mid-Market Fund, which closed in late 2019 at €1 billion

Pageant Media, now rebranded as With Intelligence, was privately owned by its CEO Charlie Kerr, who founded the business in 1998. The company’s business model at the time of IMG’s investment included a membership programme in which financial professionals pay an annual fee to receive news, information, and data, and attend invitation-only events. The company organised around 200 events per year and had reported £32 million in revenues in 2019. It had more than 2,500 institutional clients worldwide and had 240 people across its offices in London, New York, Hong Kong, and Cardiff.

Since then, Pageant Media has gone on to make a number of acquisitions, including:

  1. May 2020 – Eurekahedge from the Mizuho Bank, of Japan. Based in Hong Kong, Eurekahedge had annual revenues of $5 million and an operating profit of around $1 million. The company, which was founded in 2001, offers a database of information on hedge funds and offers the Eurekahedge fund indices.
  2. November 2020 – Falk Marques Group (now rebranded With Intelligence) acquired from Beth Falk and Raul Marqués who jointly founded the business in 2006. Falk Marques Group produces conferences and networking forums that are focused on advancing women in the private equity, venture capital and alternative investment communities. It launched the Women’s Private Equity Summit in 2008 and its sister event, the Women’s Alternative Investment Summit in 2009. Falk Marques Group had around $4 million revenue. Pageant Media are reported to have made an initial payment of $4 million. This to be followed by an earn-out which may eventually value the business at $20 million.
  3. June 2021 – the acquisition of Pension Funds Online. The business organises up-to-date financial and contact information for pension funds, in the UK and Europe, through a modern, searchable digital interface. First produced in print form in 1978, as the so-called Blue and Red Books, the online database is today used by asset managers, investment consultants and other service providers to drive their investor outreach strategies.
  4. June 2021 – Hedge Fund Alert acquired from Green Street. Hedge Fund Alert is read by hedge funds, prime brokers, and other service providers to get the earliest look at key dealings and intelligence in the hedge fund arena. The U.S.-based publication now sits alongside HFM and Eurekahedge.
  5. August 2021 – UK-based Savvy Investor from its owner Andrew Perrins for a reported £6 million initial payment and a further £2 million based on performance targets. Savvy Media is a knowledge network for institutional investors, providing members with access to a deep resource of white papers and articles covering global investment and pensions issues. It had £2 million in revenue and £800k EBITDA.

With Intelligence is now a global business information organisation, focused on the asset management industry. Now with over 450 people in seven offices across three continents, the product portfolio includes data, insight and events, and has grown to cover hedge funds, private equity, real estate, private debt, and traditional asset management, with more than 3,000 institutional customers worldwide.

UK, London

LabX Media Group acquires G2 Intelligence from Plain Language Media

B2B science media company LabX Media Group has acquired the information services and event assets of G2 Intelligence from Plain Language Media LLLP. The terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Plain Language Media has retained The Licensing Letter, The Licensing Sourcebook and Licensing Deals & Data, plus its Medical Office Manager and Law Office Manager franchises.

In a statement this week, LabX Media Group CEO Bob Kafato said: “We are excited to formally announce a new addition to the LMG family, G2 Intelligence. G2 Intelligence is a digital content news platform that provides timely, accurate analysis of legal and regulatory news that directly affects the laboratory environment. The brand has a successful 30-year history of providing the diagnostic lab industry with print and digital newsletters, online information services, special reports, and live events. Above all else, G2 Intelligence aligns with our mission of helping scientists make the world better and is a fantastic fit for LabX Media Group, so we are thrilled to have them join our talented team.”

Canada, Ontario and Canada, British Columbia & USA, New London, CT & UK, London

GlobalData to acquire the Life Sciences business of IHS Markit

Data analytics and consulting company GlobalData Plc is to acquire the Life Sciences business of IHS Markit Ltd. (“LS”).

LS offers comprehensive and independent coverage of drug pricing, reimbursement and market access trends, as well as healthcare forecasts and healthcare economic data microsimulation modelling.

The terms of the deal were not disclosed, completion is expected to occur during Q4 of 2021 and will be funded from the Group’s existing cash resources and banking facilities.

Commenting on the acquisition Mike Danson, Chief Executive Officer, said: “The Life Sciences acquisition represents a strategic bolt-on to our already strong pharmaceuticals data, insights and analytics services. The addition of drug pricing data, as well as other critical Life Sciences data and analysis, further confirms our industry leading breadth and depth in the pharmaceuticals space.

I would like to take this opportunity to welcome our new group of highly talented colleagues to the Group and wish them every success for the future within GlobalData”

Gustav Ando, Vice President and Head of Life Sciences at IHS Markit, added: “We are looking forward to becoming an integral part of the GlobalData Pharma and Life Sciences Team. This unique combination will enable us to provide our current and expanded client base with a much broader service offering, through synergy with existing GlobalData services, and on a single fully integrated platform.”

UK, London

Future plc acquires Dennis from Exponent Private Equity for £300 million

Future plc has acquired media subscriptions business Dennis from Exponent Private Equity LLP, for approximately £300 million.

The titles being acquired by Future are: The Week UK / The Week US, The Week Junior UK / The Week Junior US, MoneyWeek, Kiplinger, Science & Nature, IT Pro, Computer Active, PC Pro, Minecraft World, and Coach.

The four titles not being acquired by Future – Viz, Fortean Times, Cyclist and Expert Reviews – will be retained by the Vendors.

Dennis demonstrated strong growth in its financial year to 31 December 2020, reporting revenue of £104.8m, up 12% on 2019, and adjusted EBITDA of £20.0m, up 14% on 2019. This growth has continued into 2021 with revenue growth of 16% in the twelve months ended June 2021. Gross assets as at 30 June 2021 were £210m.

Expected cost synergies are £5m per annum, to be achieved by FY2023. They represent 25% of Dennis’ FY2020 EBITDA.

The purchase price of approximately £300m is to be satisfied in cash on completion (expected on 1 October 2021), subject to normal closing adjustments. Under the terms of the acquisition, the Vendors have agreed to pay Future a minimum of £8m and a maximum of £10m within 12 months of completion.

The acquisition is being funded via the Group’s debt facility, which was increased to £600m in July 2021 via an amend and extend exercise.

Zillah Byng-Thorne, CEO of Future, said: “I am delighted to announce the acquisition of a high-quality portfolio of Dennis’ trusted brands that will accelerate our strategy, enhance our content capabilities and bring additional geographical and vertical revenue diversification, whilst materially increasing the proportion of recurring revenues across the Group.

“The materially earnings enhancing acquisition is highly complementary to our longstanding ‘US first’ mindset and provides an attractive opportunity to scale our recently created ‘Wealth’ vertical, whilst diversifying our presence in our ‘Knowledge’ and ‘B2B Pro Technology’ verticals.

“I look forward to welcoming our new colleagues to Future, and to continuing the successful execution of our strategy to generate long-term sustainable growth and attractive returns for our shareholders.”

James Tye, CEO of Dennis, said: “In the three years that the business has been owned by Exponent, Dennis has been on an incredible growth journey, delivering double digit increases in subscription revenues, a greatly increased US footprint; and significant bottom-line increases. This is a testament to the talented team at Dennis who have helped make all of this happen.

“We look forward to working with the team at Future to continue growing the reach, influence and value of all our key brands and businesses.”

UK, London

News Corp to acquire OPIS

News Corp is to acquire the Oil Price Information Service (OPIS) and related assets from S&P Global and IHS Markit.

News Corp is acquiring OPIS for $1.15 billion in a cash transaction, subject to customary adjustments, and also expects to receive an estimated tax benefit of $180 million as part of the transaction. S&P Global and IHS Markit announced in May their exploration of the divestiture of the businesses to ensure a timely merger of both companies. News Corp’s acquisition of OPIS is subject to customary closing conditions, including regulatory approvals and the consummation of the S&P Global and IHS Markit merger, which is expected in the fourth quarter of this calendar year. OPIS will become part of Dow Jones’ Professional Information Business (PIB), which includes Dow Jones Risk & Compliance, Dow Jones Newswires and Factiva. OPIS has a revenue base that is nearly 100% digital, 95% recurring and operates at approximately 50+% Adjusted EBITDA margins.

Founded in 1977, OPIS today is a global industry standard for benchmark and reference pricing and news and analytics for the oil, natural gas liquids and biofuels industries, and a growing provider of insights and analytics in renewables and carbon pricing. At its core, OPIS provides end-to-end pricing and analytics information to the energy industry from the refinery to the retailer.

“OPIS will be the cornerstone for a rising commodities, energy and renewables digital business that we are convinced will have a positive impact on Dow Jones and News Corp,” said Robert Thomson, Chief Executive of News Corp. “We certainly believe OPIS and Dow Jones will be more than the sum of their valuable parts. Dow Jones is ideally positioned to accelerate growth at OPIS, while OPIS will be a powerful pillar, alongside Risk & Compliance, in the fast-growing Dow Jones Professional Information Business.”

OPIS and related assets revenues have grown at an approximate 10% CAGR, including acquisitions, since 2016, as disclosed by IHS Markit, and grew at a consistent rate through the 2008-2009 global financial crisis, the 2014-2015 oil market downturn and the current pandemic. In its current fiscal year (ending November 30, 2021), OPIS is expected to generate approximately $129 million in revenues, Adjusted EBITDA margins exceeding 50%.In its fiscal year ended November 30, 2020, OPIS generated revenue and Adjusted EBITDA of approximately $121 million and $61 million, respectively.

OPIS, headquartered in Rockville, Maryland, also has offices in Mexico, the United Kingdom, France, Romania and Singapore. The company employs approximately 400 professionals globally.

News Corp will report its full year 2021 results on August 5, 2021.

USA, New York, NY & USA, Rockville, MD

A Fusion Deal: MGP sold to WebMD Health Corp.

MGP, an award-winning publisher and multimedia company with over 26 years’ expertise in the dissemination of guidance-related content to support healthcare professionals across the NHS, has been sold to WebMD Health Corp. an Internet Brands company and a leader in health information services for physicians, other healthcare professionals and consumers. Fusion Corporate Partners acted as corporate advisor to MGP. The Fusion team was led by Mark Eisenstadt, Director at Fusion. The terms of the deals were not disclosed.

“Fusion was fortunate to represent MGP, a fast growing market leader, that by providing must have clinical information, provides an invaluable service to medical professionals. Plugged in to the worldwide WebMD network, they will now exploit exciting synergies that will help expand both their offering and reach to further aid medical professionals in improving patient care. It was a pleasure to work with the highly professional and experienced management team who thoroughly deserve their reward. They have built a business that truly makes a positive contribution to healthcare and I look forward to the next chapter of the story.” Mark Eisenstadt, Fusion.

The acquisition combines the core competencies of MGP with that of Medscape, WebMD’s flagship global brand for healthcare professionals. Medscape and its affiliate network of platforms currently reach over 5 million physicians worldwide, of which over 4 million are outside the US. The addition of MGP will build on Medscape’s offerings of clinical news, health information, education and point-of-care tools to provide market-leading, multi-channel reach and engagement with doctors and other healthcare professionals across the UK.

Based in Chesham, UK, MGP’s content is designed to inform clinical decision-making and change clinical behaviour in line with best practice. The diverse offerings include Guidelines summaries, Guidelines in Practice expert articles and videos, the Guidelines Live conference and virtual events.

“Clinical guidelines are foundational to enhancing and improving patient care, and the addition of MGP further drives Medscape’s commitment to supporting UK doctors in clinical practice,” said Jeremy Schneider, Group General Manager, WebMD Global. “MGP and Medscape have the trust and the engagement of hundreds of thousands of UK healthcare professionals, driving clinical behaviour change. Through this transaction, we can leverage our combined strengths and scale to deliver robust, information-rich content to doctors and innovative solutions to customers.”

MGP will continue to operate as an independent subsidiary of Medscape as the companies build on and integrate products, platforms, and services.

USA, New York, NY & UK, Chesham, Buckinghamshire

Related Fusion media related deals

Sovereign Capital Partners backs AquaQ Analytics

Sovereign Capital Partners have backed AquaQ Analytics, a specialist data analytics and data science services business supporting global financial institutions. Sovereign has partnered with the management team to further grow the company’s international presence and develop its range of services. The terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Founded in 2011, AquaQ works with its clients to optimise, develop and maintain their database technologies and take advantage of advanced data and analytics. The company, has long-term relationships with a number of leading financial institutions. It also has its own proprietary suite of software tools, TorQ.

AquaQ ‘s headquarters are in Belfast, Northern Ireland. The company has offices in the USA, Singapore and Hong Kong and employs over 180 staff.

Sovereign is backing founders Ronan Pairceir and James Bradley. Guy Warren joins the business as non-executive Chair. Guy is CEO of technology business ITRS, a former NED of White Clarke Group, ex-COO of FTSE Group and EVP of Misys Banking.

Uk, London & Belfast

dmg media acquires New Scientist for £70M

dmg media has acquired New Scientist, one of the world’s leading science publishing titles, from a consortium of individual investors led by Sir Bernard Gray, for £70m cash consideration. 

New Scientist, first published on 22 November 1956, is a magazine that covers all aspects of science and technology. Based in London with offices in the USA and Australia, it has a weekly circulation of approximately 120,000, of which just over half are UK-based. In 2021 the business is expected to generate cash operating income and operating profit of approximately £7 million and revenues are expected to exceed £20 million. Around 75% of the revenue base is derived from subscriptions. The business also runs international events including New Scientist Live.

Lord Rothermere, Chairman of DMGT, said: “New Scientist is a world-renowned publication loved by its readers, and we are both thrilled and proud to welcome it to the DMGT family.  They are a specialised and talented team who showcase the best of science journalism, bringing integrity, curiosity and craftmanship to their work.  We are very much looking forward to supporting their exciting plans to grow as the go-to publication for anyone interested in the scientific world around us.”  

Paul Zwillenberg, DMGT CEO, added: “The acquisition of New Scientist marks an exciting new addition to the DMGT portfolio and reflects our disciplined approach to acquisitions.  It is a natural step in our consumer strategy to improve the quality of our revenues through building up subscriptions and digital capabilities. We are committed to supporting the talented team and their plans for the future and are confident that the business is well positioned for future growth.” 

UK, London