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Informa to buy exhibitions rival UBM for £4bn

CEO Stephen Carter claims 'significant' synergies will justify price

Pictured: Informa CEO Stephen Carter

Informa, the events and business information group, is set to pay a whopping £4.5bn for rival trade show organiser UBM. The amount, that will include debt, has divided investors who have questioned the decision to pay what amounts to the full price.

Speaking to the The Financial Times Informa CEO Stephen Carter said: “The business to business information market is very different today. Ten years ago people were questioning whether this was the end of face-to-face contact. But demand for the value of face-to-face connectivity has gone up.”

Carter has also come under fire claiming the company has failed to present cost savings and revenue growth targets. He was left claiming there would be “significant” synergies to justify the price. Investors were unconvinced and marked Informa down more than 8 per cent although the shares recovered slightly to end the day down 5.7 per cent.

Lord Carter, a former Gordon Brown adviser, is bidding to create the world’s largest business events operator a decade after UBM and Informa last tried to combine. He said the pair make a good match territorially and in the industries they target, and said he did not expect opposition from competition authorities.

Informa Exhibitions organises 200 events annually around the world, making it the third-largest player in the sector, with coming events including the Palm Beach International Boat Show, CityScape India in Mumbai and the Anti-Ageing Medicine World Congress in Monte Carlo. UBM, meanwhile, organises 300 events each year.

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