Dubai Reportedly Eyeing Informa Acquisition

HIL ANDERSON, SENIOR EDITOR
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London, England – The Investment Corporation of Dubai has reportedly joined the field of potential buyers of British events organizer Informa plc.

The U.K. newspaper The Observer said on August 3 that the Dubai-based firm – the official investment arm of the Government of Dubai – was in the process of finalizing a loan that would be used to acquire Informa for an estimated £3.3 billion ($6.5 billion).

Informa produces around 12,000 events worldwide including seminars, conferences and trade shows. Its portfolio includes GSMA Mobile World Congress, the MonacoYacht Show, along with IIR and Adam Smith brand conferences.

The Observer said Investment Corporation of Dubai is particularly interested in merging Informa’s Cityscape Dubai real estate trade show and its own Dubai World Trade Center venue.

Informa released a brief statement on July 29 confirming only that it had received a preliminary approach from a third party it declined to identify and was providing that company with access to unspecified “information materials.”

The statement said the new suitor had not made any formal offers and that discussions were continuing with a consortium made up of Providence Equity Partners LLP, The Carlyle Group and Hellman & Friedman LLC.

The Observer said Investment Corporation of Dubai could be joined by the U.S. equity firm The Blackstone Group in the venture.

Reach Informa CEO Peter Rigby at +44 (0)20 7017 4302 or peter.rigby@informa.com; H.E. Mohammed I. Al Shaibani, CEO of Investment Corporation of Dubai, at +971 4 707 1333 or info@icd.gov.ae