A Fusion deal: Worldwide Legal Research sold to Law Business Research

Worldwide Legal Research, trading as LegalMonitor, a research company headquartered in London, has been sold to Law Business Research Ltd, a portfolio company of Levine Leichtman Capital Partners VI, LP (LLCP). Fusion Corporate Partners acted as corporate advisor for Worldwide Legal Research. The Fusion team was led by Paul Slight, Director at Fusion. The terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Law Business Research (LBR) is a technology-enabled information services business powering the global legal industry with intelligence, analytics and performance data.  LegalMonitor is the most accurate database of over 260,000 lawyers, incorporating artificial intelligence, advanced search and visual analytics.

David Kekwick, Executive Director of LegalMonitor, noted, “The combination of our data platform and LBR is an exciting one. LBR brings access to the operational tools and experience we need to scale plus significant marketplace access. We will be able to accelerate investment in our platform and ensure ongoing product evolution.”

Paul Slight commented, “This is second time round for David Kekwick and Fusion having previously worked on the sale of David’s first business to Wilmington circa 10 years ago. The fit with Law Business Research in this instance is clear and will only enhance Legal Monitor’s market leading products for legal recruiters globally.”

Nick Brailey, CEO of Law Business Research, said, “Law Business Research and LegalMonitor both provide data-driven, technology-enabled, subscription platforms that naturally complement each other. LegalMonitor brings a significant database, insight into the global legal market and additional technology capabilities. Our combined research will map the known universe of lawyers and tie together datasets to fulfil more use cases. This will benefit our entire portfolio of client solutions and represents a continuation of our strategy of delivering technology-enabled content by adding a highly relevant data asset to our business. I’d like to take this opportunity to welcome the Legal Monitor team to LBR and I look forward to seeing what we can achieve together”.

UK, London

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

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

Claverley Group acquires HPCi Media

Claverley Group has acquired HPCi Media. The deal was announced in the Cleverly Group owned Express and Star. The terms of the deal were not disclosed.

London based HPCi Media focuses on the beauty, wellness and health industries with titles such as Cosmetics Business and Pure Beauty.

Claverley Group chief executive Phil Inman said: “We are delighted to have concluded the acquisition of HPCi Media. The business benefits from a loyal customer base and has enjoyed year on year revenue growth for a number of years. We look forward to working with the current team to support further growth and development.”

Wolverhampton-based Claverley Group is an independently-owned specialist media group which includes The Express & Star, Shropshire Star and MNA Digital. It is the third acquisition by the Claverley Group since 2018. The previous two were the acquisitions of children’s magazine publisher Kennedy and creative design and print management business Cubiquity.

Read the Express and Star story here.

UK, Wolverhampton & London

GlobalData acquires LMC Automotive

GlobalData Plc has acquired LMCA Holdings Limited and LMCI Holdings Limited, which provide data, analytics, and insights of the Automotive and Agribusiness markets respectively. The terms of the deal were not disclosed.

LMC Automotive is best known for its automotive markets forecast services, which extend to global databases of sales and production down to make, model and engine detail. LMC Automotive also runs industry conferences.

LMC International is an independent economic consulting firm specialising in global agricultural commodity and agribusiness sectors.

The acquisitions, follow on from the Life Sciences acquisition earlier this year and will be funded through existing facilities.

Commenting on the acquisitions Mike Danson, Chief Executive Officer, said: “The Automotive and Agribusiness acquisitions represent strategic bolt-ons and the high quality gold standard content adds depth and further breadth to our intelligence offering. Our confidence in the success of these additions, as well as future M&A, is underpinned by the advantage of our One Platform model. It provides multiple levers for realizing synergies, as well as the ability to enhance product capabilities. The additions allow us to demonstrate the capability of our platform to new clients, as well as leveraging the operating efficiencies of scale.”

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

AgriBriefing sells its UK agriculture division to Arc Media Holdings

AgriBriefing, the provider of agricultural commodity pricing benchmarks, analytics, and market data, has sold its UK agriculture division to Arc Media Holdings, a global events, data and media platform backed by investment funds managed by Eagle Tree Capital. It is Arc’s first acquisition in the UK. According to reporting on Flashes and Flames, Agribriefing was sold for £20 million.

The information assets which will transfer include Farmers Guardian, Dairy Farmer & Arable Farming alongside all related digital platforms plus events brands LAMMA, CropTec and the British Farming Awards.

Commenting on the transaction, Rory Brown, CEO of AgriBriefing said:

“While we are pleased to announce the next evolution of AgriBriefing, in many ways today is a bittersweet day. The acquisition of Farmers Guardian from UBM in 2012 represented the original pillar around which we have built our company and we are enormously proud of the job our teams have done over the past 10 years.

“Following discussions with Simon (Foster) and his team we quickly realised that they shared a similar underlying belief in the future of successful media and community platforms. We do not feel we could have found a better home for our transferring brands, and the teams who work on them. We will continue to cheer their future success from the sidelines as the UK agriculture business enters its next stage.

UK, London & USA, New York, NY

Moody’s Corporation to acquire RMS from DMGT for $2 billion

Moody’s Corporation is acquiring RMS from Daily Mail and General Trust plc for approximately £1,425 million (approximately $2 billion). RMS is a global provider of climate and natural disaster risk modelling and analytics. It services the global property and casualty insurance and reinsurance industries.

In the 12 months to 31 March 2021, RMS generated £33 million adjusted operating profit and £38 million EBITDA from revenues of £242 million. Based on these figures, the acquisition is made for is a premium valuation of more than 30 times EBITDA.

Moody’s reports that, subject to final conformity to their accounting policies, for the fiscal year ending September 30, 2021, RMS is expected to generate revenue of approximately $320 million and adjusted operating income of approximately $55 million.

The acquisition will immediately increase Moody’s insurance data and analytics business to nearly $500 million in revenue. RMS is expected to generate up to $150 million of incremental run-rate revenue by 2025.

“Today’s leaders face a complex, interlinked world of risks and stakeholders,” said Rob Fauber, President and Chief Executive Officer of Moody’s. “In the context of a global pandemic, the climate crisis and increasing cyberattacks, our customers must manage a wider range of risks than ever before. We are excited to add RMS and its team of world-class data scientists, modelers and software engineers to the Moody’s family to help accelerate solutions that enable customers to build resilience and make better decisions.”

Moody’s will fund the transaction through a combination of cash-on-hand and the issuance of new debt. The acquisition is expected to close in late 3Q 2021.

USA, New York, NY & Newark, CA & UK, London