The story of the sale of B2B publisher and Datamonitor owner Informa got longer last night after it rejected a total £3.2 billion bid from a three-way consortium of Providence Equity LLP, the Carlyle Group and Blackstone. The trio offered £1.87 billion but would also have to take care of the company’s £1.2 billion of debt.
The 450p-a-share offer “significantly underalues” Informa chairman Derek Mapp said, in a company statement that wastes no time reminding that the consortium – before Blackstone replaced Hellman & Friedman this week – originally offered 506p per share. The company said it can weather the tough economic conditions. One source quoted by Times Online: “Nothing at all has changed since July to make the company believe its worth has fallen by so much.”
Still, as The Times points out, even at 450p a share the deal would be one of the largest leveraged buy-outs since the credit crunch began last year. The 506p offer valued the business at £2.15 billion, not including debt. Don’t expect a new offer – a Providence source tells Telegraph.co.uk 450p was the “best and final offer”.