Media Fortune Fame & Folly

Informa and IHS swap markets

B2B. UK quoted information and exhibitions group Informa is continuing its portfolio management journey (following its acquisition of UBM) with an exchange of assets with IHS Markit. Informa is to exchangs its Agribusiness Intelligence portfolio (operating in the UK, North America, Europe and the AsiaPacific)  for IHS Markit’s Telecoms, Media and Technology subscriptions, research and consulting brands.

The deal will strengthen Informa’s position in IT, Communications, Security and Transformational Technology and expand its reach into Asia and North America, with revenues for the enlarged Informa Tech division expected to total $350m. IHS Markit is committed to expanding in Agribusiness. The deal values the two businesses at similar EBITDA multiples, with Informa paying $30m in cash to reflect the higher EBITDA of the TMT business. The transactions should complete in July, subject to regulatory approval.

The deal will have disappointed the private equity owners of the UK-based AgriBriefing which had hoped to effect a transformation, with acquisition of Agribusiness Intelligence. It must now hope to acquire Kynetec, the £40m-revenue, 17-year-old farming market research specialist which had been divested by Frankfurt-based GfK in 2016. The Inflexion private equity-owned company has become a world leader following acquisition of an Ipsos subsidiary in North America and Market Probe in Continental Europe. AgriBriefing grew by 50% in 2018, including through the successful acquisition of GDS, in France, and Urner Barry, in the US. The enlarged company made EBITDA of £6.8m (2017:£4.6m) on revenue of £27.4m (£19.2m). Some 50% of revenues derived from the UK (2017: 74%), 35% of revenues came from the US. The company employs 186 people.


IHS Markit