Is the Guardian Media Group following Pearson's lead? Top Right Group sale or IPO reportedly being considered by owners GMG and Apax days after FT sale

Lynsey Barber
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Pharell appeared at the Cannes Lions festival, run by Top Right (Source: Getty)

Just days after Pearson sold off the FT Group in a deal worth £884m, the Guardian Media Group may now be following its lucrative lead.

Top Right Group, the publisher of industry magazines such as Drapers, Retail Week and Nursing Times formerly known as Emap, is being prepared for a sale or float by owners Guardian Media Group and private equity firm Apax, Sky News reports.

Banks are being sounded out to work on sale options for the business which also runs the Cannes Lions advertising festival, according to the report, which claims it could be valued at as much as £1.2bn.

The publisher of the Guardian and Observer picked up a 33 per cent stake in Top Right Group in 2008 along with Apax for £1bn.

Earlier this year, chief executive Duncan Painter said a three-year turnaround of the business had been completed, including significantly reducing debt, after reporting a rise in pre-tax profits to £85.3m and revenue growth of nine per cent on a constant currency basis to £313m.

Previously Painter has said there would be no sell-off before 2017, however, the sale of the FT Group which includes a host of more niche publications on areas such as investments and pensions as well as the Financial Times newspaper, may have sparked renewed appetite for media deals.

Pearson is also looking to sell of its 50 per cent stake in the Economist Group.

Guardian Media Group declined to comment.

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