by Michael J. Shapiro | January 30, 2018
Informa has made a £3.9 billion (more than US$5.5 billion) offer to acquire UBM, a deal approved by both boards that would result in a massive B2B information services and exhibitions giant. Shareholders of both companies will vote on the proposal. The companies acknowledged a few weeks ago that they were discussing merger possibilities.

"It is clear that the B2B market is moving to operating scale and industry specialization," noted Informa chief executive Stephen A. Carter. "Our recommended offer for UBM promises to create a leading B2B information services group with the international reach and market capabilities to take full advantage of these trends."

An accelerated integration plan ensures that the companies would operate as one by 2019, added Carter. The combined company would own 24 of the top 250 U.S. exhibitions, more than 150 global brands that generate more than US$2.83 million per year, and more than 60 brands that generate more than US$7 million per year.

The combined company would employ about 11,000 people (approximately 4,500 in the Americas, 2,500 in Asia, 500 in EMEA and 3,500 in the U.K.), and would have a significant presence in the growth markets of China and the United States. The company also would own and operate major branded events serving 15 different industries, from technology and pharma to beauty, fashion and yachting.

Both companies will release their full-year 2017 financial results on Feb. 28, with plans to pay 2017 dividends on April 20, 2018.