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Informa to buy events planner Tarsus Group for £793million

Informa to buy 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 its profits from continuing operations more than tripled last year
  • The FTSE 100 firm declared another £275m uplift to its share buyback scheme

Informa has revealed the £793million acquisition of Tarsus Group as the group puts capital to work after a resurgence of in-person events. 

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

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

Takeover: Exhibitions planner Informa has agreed to buy Tarsus Group for £793million

Financing for the deal will come through cash and issuing $210million of new stock, with another $45million worth of shares being paid out should Informa’s share price hit 850p within a two-year lock-up period.

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

Completion of the transaction is set to happen in early July amid the continued rebound in live exhibitions, which have been heavily disrupted for much of the previous three years.

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

All three of its B2B markets segments achieved an underlying sales increase of more than 40 per cent, while its net debt plummeted by almost £1.2billion following the divestment of its corporate intelligence portfolio.

Proceeds from the disposals were also used to boost the firm’s share buyback programme to £725million. On Thursday, Informa declared another £275million uplift to the scheme. 

Chief executive Stephen A. Carter said the group was ‘firmly back in growth. Growth in revenues, growth in profits, growth in cash flow and, importantly, growth in shareholder returns’.

Among the trade shows organised 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 normality last year, unlike Informa’s Chinese operations, which remained significantly affected by lockdown policies.

The firm noted that the gradual loosening of Covid-19 restrictions in China was producing a ‘strong rebound in business activity,’ although it does not anticipate a full calendar of exhibitions until next year.

For 2023, it expects revenue to expand by around a fifth to between £2.75billion and £2.85billion, while adjusted operating profits of £675million to £725million are predicted.

Informa shares were 2.9 per cent higher at 699p on Thursday morning, meaning their value has expanded by just under a third in the past 12 months.


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