UBM in advanced talks to acquire Advanstar

UBMUBM is in advanced talks to acquire Advanstar. Reuters is reporting that UBM are paying around $900M for the privately held U.S. trade show organiser.

Advanstar generates roughly $95 million in earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation. It has has a portfolio of 54 trade shows, 100 conferences, 30 publications, and almost 200 electronic products and Web sites, as well as educational and direct marketing products and services. Advanstar has approximately 600 employees and currently operates from multiple offices in North America and Europe.

A UBM statement confirming the talks said, “UBM plc notes recent market speculation concerning a potential acquisition of advanstarAdvanstar by UBM. UBM confirms that it is involved in discussions which may, or may not, lead to a transaction. A further announcement will be made in due course, if appropriate.”

This would be the first large acquisition for UBM under its new CEO Tim Cobbold, who started at the company earlier this year after leaving British banknote printer De La Rue.

UK, London & USA, Santa Monica, CA

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Felix Dennis 1947 – 2014

Felix DennisFelix Dennis, the magazine publisher, poet, entrepreneur and philanthropist has died at his home in Dorsington, Warwickshire, aged 67. He was diagnosed with cancer in 2012.  The family announcement said he died peacefully surrounded by his loved ones on Sunday.

“We are deeply saddened to announce that Felix Dennis passed away yesterday surrounded by his loved ones. After a long and painful battle with cancer, Felix died peacefully at his home in Dorsington, aged 67.”

“Felix was a publishing legend, famed for his maverick and entrepreneurial style and, more lately, a successful and much loved poet. He will be greatly missed.”

“Thank you to the support and kindness of those who share our feelings for Felix, and we ask that you respect our privacy during our time of grief.”

Felix Dennis’s  company, Dennis Publishing, pioneered computer and hobbyist magazine publishing in the United Kingdom. Famously, he was co-editor of Oz, which led to him being one of the “Oz three” defendants eventually found not guilty following the 1971 Old Bailey obscenity trial about the title’s content. In 1987, he co-founded MicroWarehouse, with Peter Godfrey and Bob Bartner, a company that pioneered direct IT marketing via high quality catalogues.  It was sold to a private investment group in January 2000. This created the bulk of Dennis’ personal wealth.

UK, Warwickshire

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Zoopla Property Group IPO Offer Price

zooplapropertyOn 22 May 2014, Zoopla Property Group announced its intention to make an IPO on the London Stock Exchange. DMGT intends to sell a maximum of 40% of its current 52.1% stake in Zoopla, retaining a stake of at least 31%. The maximum that DMGT could receive would be £190 million as a result of its participation in the IPO. This maximum includes DMGT’s contribution to the Member Offer, the Institutional Offer and Over-allotment

Offer highlights

  • The offer price has been set at 220 pence per Share.
  • Based on the Offer Price, the total market capitalisation of the Company will be £918.8 million
  • The Offer comprises 159,977,620 Shares, representing 38.3% of the Company’s issued share capital on Admission, excluding the Over-allotment Option
  • The Offer comprises the sale by selling shareholders of existing Shares only. No new Shares will be issued pursuant to the Offer
  • The Principal Selling Shareholders have granted an Over-allotment Option in respect of 15,997,755 Shares. If the Over-allotment Option were exercised in full the total gross proceeds raised by the Principal Selling Shareholders in the Offer would be approximately £369.9 million
  • 4,179,624 Shares have been applied for by Eligible Members under the Member Offer. As a result the Institutional Offer will comprise 155,797,996 Shares

Admission and dealings

  • Conditional dealings in the Shares will commence on the London Stock Exchange at 8:00 am today (18 June 2014) under the ticker ZPLA
  • Admission to the premium listing segment of the Official List and to trading on the main market for listed securities of the London Stock Exchange, and the commencement of unconditional dealings in the Shares on the London Stock Exchange, are expected to take place at 8:00 am on 23 June 2014. At Admission, the Company will have 417,642,460 Shares in issue
  • The Pricing Statement relating to the Offer will be submitted to the UKLA and will be available free of charge at the Company’s registered office at Harlequin Building, 65 Southwark Street, London, SE1 0HR. In addition, the Pricing Statement will be published on the Company’s website at http://www.zpg.co.uk/ipo

Alex Chesterman, Founder & Chief Executive Officer of Zoopla Property Group Plc said: “We are delighted with our successful listing on the London Stock Exchange. Today’s announcement marks an important milestone for our business following a number of years of strong growth and having built a market-leading proposition. We have received a significant level of institutional investor support in our business which once again underlines the growth potential of Zoopla Property Group. We have also received strong support from our members who have also participated in our IPO through our exclusive Member Offer and have become shareholders in our business. We are looking forward to life as a public company and to welcoming our new shareholders to the business.”

Further information

  • The Principal Selling Shareholders (other than Alex Chesterman and Simon Kain), are locked up for 180 days and the Directors and Senior Managers are locked up for 365 days in respect of their holdings of Shares following Admission, subject to the consent of the Joint Global Co-ordinators and to certain customary exceptions. The Company will also be subject to customary lock-up arrangements for 180 days following Admission, subject to the consent of the Joint Global Co-ordinators and to certain customary exceptions
  • Following Admission, before any exercise of the Over-Allotment Option, DMGT will hold 33.7% of the Shares and the Principal Selling Shareholders (other than Alex Chesterman and Simon Kain) will hold, in aggregate, 52.6% of the Shares. The Directors and Senior Managers will hold, in aggregate, 6.2% of the Shares, before any exercise of the Over-Allotment Option
  • It is expected that the Company will be eligible for inclusion in the FTSE UK Index Series at the quarterly review in September 2014
  • In relation to the Offer and Admission, Credit Suisse Securities (Europe) Limited and Jefferies International Limited are acting as Joint Sponsors, Joint Global Co-ordinators and Joint Bookrunners, and Canaccord Genuity Limited is acting as Co-Lead Manager
  • As stabilising manager, Credit Suisse Securities (Europe) Limited has been granted the Over-allotment Option, exercisable no later than thirty days from today, by the Principal Selling Shareholders over up to 15,997,755 Shares, representing 10% of the Shares comprised in the Offer

UK, London

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Incisive Media in talks about a debt-for-equity swap

incisive_logo_newSky News is reporting that Incisive Media has begun talks about a debt-for-equity swap that would enable the business to shed its £100m-plus debt mountain and refocus on growing the business.

Alchemy Partners has been acquiring Incisive Media’s debts from other holders and is expected to continue to do so. Alchemy now owns roughly a quarter of Incisive’s borrowings and would end up as a major shareholder if the restructuring proceeds.

Incisive is a business-to-business information provider, serving a wide range of financial, business technology and professional services markets globally. The business has two offices in London, others in New York and Hong Kong and a representative office in Beijing. Private equity firm Apax paid £208m for the business in 2006, and then bought American Lawyer Media (AML) in 2007 for $600m. Since then the two businesses have separated with Apax retaining AML and surrendering control of Incisive Media.

Lenders to the company, including the Royal Bank of Scotland, would need to give their consent before a debt-for-equity swap could take place.

Read the full story here.

UK, London

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Wilmot abandons plans to make an offer for Centaur

centaurOn 24th September Geoffrey Wilmot, the former chief executive of Centaur Media plc, said that he was in talks with financial backers about making a bid for the Centaur business. He had until 5.00pm on Tuesday 22nd October to clarify his intentions, by either announcing a firm intention to make an offer or that he does not intend to make an offer.

Since then, Wilmot has engaged with an extended number of finance providers and these discussions have progressed significantly.

However, a stock market statement issued today said, “It has become apparent that the Board of Centaur’s views on the value of the Company materially diverge from those of Mr Wilmot and his potential financing partners. Accordingly Mr. Wilmot confirms that he currently does not intend to make an offer for Centaur.”

Geoff Wilmot left Centaur in May this year.

UK London

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Fresh round of dealmaking in the face-to-face events sector

The FT are reporting that, in the wake of UBM’s chief executive David Levin and Informa’s chief Peter Rigby resigning earlier this year, analysts and industry executives are speculating that a fresh round of dealmaking could happen in the face-to-face events sector.

Read the article here

Former Centaur Media chief executive Geoff Wilmot to make a bid for the company

centaurGeoff Wilmot, the former chief executive of Centaur Media plc has said that he is in talks with financial backers about making a bid for the business. Geoff Wilmot left Centaur in May this year. Tim Potter, MD of the Business Publishing division left at the same time.

A stock market announcement released yesterday said:

“Mr Wilmot notes the recent movement in the share price of Centaur.

Mr Wilmot, the former CEO of Centaur, confirms that he is considering an offer for Centaur and to that end has had preliminary discussions with certain prospective finance providers.

Mr Wilmot must, in accordance with Rule 2.6(a) of the Code, clarify his intentions by no later than 5.00pm on Tuesday 22nd October, by either announcing a firm intention to make an offer or that he does not intend to make an offer, in which case the announcement will be treated as a statement to which Rule 2.8 of the Code applies. This deadline will only be extended with the consent of the Panel in accordance with Rule 2.6(c) of the Code.

This announcement does not constitute an announcement of a firm intention to make an offer under Rule 2.7 of the Code and there can be no certainty that an offer will be made, nor as to the terms on which any offer will be made.

Further announcements will be made in due course.”

Centaur Media issued a statement today:

“Centaur Media plc (LSE: CAU, “Centaur”) notes the announcement yesterday by Geoffrey Wilmot that he has had preliminary discussions with prospective financial providers in relation to a potential offer for Centaur.

The Board of Centaur (the “Board”) confirms that to date no discussions have taken place between the Company and Geoffrey Wilmot concerning a potential offer.”

UK, London

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