Informa, organiser of the Monaco Yacht Show, FLIBS and other US shows, is to take over UBM, the organiser of the Shanghai International Boat Show, in a £4.3bn deal including debt.
The deal creates the world’s largest organiser of business events and exhibitions and it will have a combined value in excess of £9bn. The two companies have previously considered a similar transaction about 10 years but did not proceed.
Under the deal, Informa shareholders will own about 65.5% of the combined group and cost savings of about £50m are anticipated to be generated. The combined entity will take over Relx, listed both in London and Amsterdam, currently the biggest event organiser. UBM had been the world’s second-largest events business and its website lists over 400 events.
Informa is both a publisher and events organiser and its roots can be traced back to 1734 with the setting up of Lloyd’s List. This eventually became a daily shipping newspaper, providing coverage of the commercial shipping industry globally.
In terms of boat shows, Informa significantly increased its presence in the sector with the £106m acquisition of Yacht Promotions Inc from the Active Interest Media group. This brought the FLIBS, Miami and Palm Beach boat shows into Informa’s Global Exhibitions Division portfolio.