Wednesday, 30 July 2008

Another bid for Informa?

My old friends still at Ovum must be getting a bit confused about who their ultimate owners are or might be. Earlier this month I reported on Informa getting a bid from a private equity consortium headed by Providence. There are now reports that Blackstone has teamed up with a Dubai sovereign wealth fund to make a rival bid – after Hellman & Friedman ‘allegedly’ walked away from the Providence consortia.

Intriguingly, the FT says that the new Blackstone bid will breakup the group “seeking trade buyers for such elements as Datamonitor” (which owns Ovum). See Blackstone swoops on Informa in today’s FT. Perhaps I should prepare a bid for take out Ovum? Put into perspective though, the ‘old’ Ovum is currently less than 2% of Informa’s revenues. A mere irrelevance!

Earlier this week Informa reported a 32% fall in PBT; mainly attributed to the high amortisation costs related to the purchase of Datamonitor in 2007. Informa shares had halved (from c600p at the time of the Datamonitor deal to c300p in March 2008) before the bid speculation started. They closed yesterday at 437p.

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