British company Informa formally offered $5.5 billion in a cash-stock deal for London-based event organizer UBM, which if completed, would create the largest exhibition company in the world, according to the Trade Show News Network (TSNN).
Informa, a business intelligence and events company, owns the Lloyd’s List shipping newspaper and runs around 200 exhibitions a year, while UBM organizes over 300 market-leading B2B events every year and operates in more than 20 countries.
Informa specializes in B2B events, business intelligence and academic publishing, and has a presence in North America, South America, Asia, Europe, the Middle East and Africa.
According to Reuters, the deal, which was first announced last month and confirmed Jan. 30, 2018, will create a global leader in business events and conferences, almost a decade after UBM tried to buy Informa (industry giant Reed Exhibitions also looked to buy Informa in June 2008).
"It is clear that the B2B market is moving to operating scale and industry specialization,” said Stephen A. Carter, Informa’s CEO in an official statement related to the deal between Informa and UBM.
“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,” he added.
Shows under the new, larger group umbrella would include everything from the World of Concrete—an international concrete and masonry industry event—to the annual Game Developers Conference (GDC).
According to Bloomberg Technology, UBM has been selling off other businesses like PR Newswire, a press release distribution unit, to focus more on events.
The company became the biggest exhibitions organizer in the U.S. when it acquired Advanstar Communications Inc., the U.S. tradeshow company, for $972 million in 2014.
Patrick Martell, Informa’s CEO of business intelligence, will take over from UBM CEO Tim Cobbold, to lead UBM through the integration process until end of 2018, according to an official release.
Martell will report to Informa CEO Stephen Carter, who will be CEO of the combined company.