Portfolio Agreement with IHS Markit

Continued Portfolio Management through exchange of Agribusiness Portfolio for further scale and capability in Informa Tech.

London: Informa (LSE: INF.L), the International Exhibitions, Events, Information Services and Scholarly Publishing Group, today announces further Progressive Portfolio Management (“PPM”) through an agreement with information services group, IHS Markit, that sees Informa’s Agribusiness Intelligence Portfolio exchanged for IHS Markit’s leading portfolio of TMT brands, further enhancing Informa Tech.

“This agreement is very positive for both IHS Markit and Informa, increasing the focus of each company on core markets where it has particular strengths and a long-term commitment to invest and grow” said Lance Uggla, CEO IHS Markit and Stephen A. Carter, Group Chief Executive, Informa PLC.

The agreement forms part of Informa’s PPM programme designed to focus the Group on brands and customer markets with the greatest opportunities for growth and expansion. It significantly strengthens Informa’s market position in Telecoms Media & Technology, whilst providing an attractive new home for the Group’s specialist information brands within the Agribusiness Intelligence Portfolio, with an owner committed to investing and expanding in this market over the long-term.

The expansion of Informa Tech includes a portfolio of B2B brands providing specialist research and data to customers through a range of subscription products and consulting. It extends and enhances Informa’s international reach through its strong presence in Asia and North America, and further strengthens its position in key sub-sectors of the TMT market, most notably in Information Technology, Communications Technology, Security Technology and Emerging Transformational Technology.

The enlarged Informa Tech will have annual revenues of around $350m and offer a wide range of B2B services, making it an attractive international partner for informing, educating and connecting Technology businesses and professionals.

Stephen A. Carter, Group Chief Executive, Informa PLC, said: “At Informa, we are focused on improving our depth and specialisation around attractive customer markets. Our ambitions for Informa Tech will be further enhanced by the addition of IHS Markit’s TMT portfolio, extending our customer and international reach, creating a strong platform for future growth.”

Lance Uggla, CEO, IHS Markit, said: “The Informa Agribusiness Intelligence portfolio is a clear extension of our Chemical and Downstream businesses and builds our existing data, pricing, insights, forecasting and news services within our Resources segment. Agriculture is the largest end chemical market in the world and this transaction expands our capabilities into fertilizers and chemical crop protection while substantively expanding our capabilities in biofuels.”

Transaction Details

The portfolio agreement is structured as two separate transactions that value the two businesses at equivalent EBITDA multiples, with Informa contributing an additional $30m in cash to IHS Markit to reflect the larger EBITDA contribution from the IHS Markit business. The transactions are expected to close in July 2019 and are subject to customary closing conditions, including US regulatory approval.

Informa CEO doesn’t seem to fancy the BT job

It has been reported that Informa CEO Stephen Carter has been approached by BT as part of its search to replace CEO Gavin Patterson.

Sky News got the scoop, reporting Carter ‎’has been sounded out in the last few weeks about the post.’ Carter hasn’t publicly commented on the matter but apparently one of his unnamed friends has, confirming the approach but stressing he is not a candidate for the BT CEO gig, nor is he any part of the recruitment process.

It seems more likely that a headhunter has been ringing around senior telecoms execs to gauge their interest in running BT and Carter was on their list. Somehow this process came to the attention of Sky News and here we are. Intriguingly Carter’s mystery mate, who we believe accurately represents his position, indicated to Sky that Carter could yet be persuaded to shift his current position on the vacancy.

Carter was always likely to be on any headhunter’s shortlist, as Telecoms.com and Light Reading (both of which are owned by Informa) have speculated previously. He has a strong telecoms background including NTL and Alcatel Lucent, as being the founding CEO of UK telecoms regulator Ofcom. But thanks to a recent M&A spending spree, including the £3.9 billion acquisition of UBM, there seems to be plenty to hold Carter’s attention at Informa right now.

The smart money is on EE boss Marc Allera to move up to the BT CEO role. The acquisition of EE at the start of 2016 has served to illustrate how behind the times the core BT business is. Allera has shown he gets the modern consumer telecoms game and is already part of the mix so he would seem to be the safe choice. Besides, apparent shopaholic Carter is unlikely to be interested in a company that has already blown its M&A budget for the next few years.