Informa buys event planner Tarsus Group for £793 million

Informa buys Dubai Airshow owner Tarsus Group for £793m as FTSE 100 group continues global expansion

  • Tarsus manages the biennial Dubai Airshow, one of the world’s largest airshows
  • Informa said profit from continuing operations more than tripled last year
  • The FTSE 100 company said it has added a further £275 million to its share buyback program

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Informa has unveiled the £793m acquisition of Tarsus Group as the group puts capital to work following a resurgence in in-person events.

The FTSE 100 company said the purchase of Tarsus from current owner Charterhouse Capital Partners would bring more than 160 business-to-business events under its banner.

These include the biennial Dubai Airshow, one of the world’s largest airshows, as well as the LabelExpo global event series and multiple infrastructure and healthcare related exhibitions in Asia and North America.

Acquisition: Exhibition planner Informa has agreed to buy Tarsus Group for £793 million

Acquisition: Exhibition planner Informa has agreed to buy Tarsus Group for £793 million

Funding for the deal will come through cash and the issuance of $210 million in new shares, with an additional $45 million in shares paid out if Informa’s share price were to reach 850p within a two-year lock-up period.

Informa expects the purchase to generate approximately $20 million in annual operational benefits through savings in areas such as real estate, procurement and technology.

Closing of the transaction will occur in early July amid the continued uptick in live exhibitions, which have been heavily disrupted over the past three years.

The return of many events last year helped more than triple the London-based company’s annual profit from continuing operations to £168.8m and boosted sales by 43 per cent to £2.3bn.

All three B2B market segments achieved an underlying revenue increase of more than 40 percent, while net debt plummeted by nearly £1.2 billion following the divestment of its corporate intelligence portfolio.

The proceeds from the divestments were also used to boost the company’s share buyback program to £725 million. On Thursday, Informa announced a further £275m increase in the scheme.

Chief executive Stephen A. Carter said the group was “solidly back in growth.” Growth in turnover, growth in profit, growth in cash flow and above all growth in shareholder return’.

Shows organized by Informa include the Fan Expo convention series, Arab Health, World of Concrete, the Game Developers Conference and the Monaco Yacht Show.

Many of these exhibitions returned to normal last year, unlike Informa’s Chinese operations, which continued to be significantly impacted by the lockdown policies.

The company noted that China’s gradual easing of Covid-19 restrictions triggered a “strong upturn in business activity,” though it doesn’t expect a full exhibition calendar until next year.

For 2023, it expects revenue to grow by about a fifth to between £2.75bn and £2.85bn, while forecasting adjusted operating profit of £675m to £725m.

Information stocks were up 2.9 percent on Thursday morning at 699 pence, meaning their value has risen by just under a third over the past 12 months.

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