Publisher and events company Informa has made a £3.8bn offer for rival UBM to create the world’s largest business-to-business (B2B) events company after the two firms were forced to reveal they were in talks last night.
The announcement sent shares in UBM up more than 15 per cent, but Informa's stock dropped.
UBM's shares were up 15.51 per cent to 908.5p at the time of writing while FTSE 100 Informa's fell 7.01 per cent to 695p.
Informa said UBM shareholders would receive 1.083 Informa shares and 163p in cash for each UBM share, representing a 30 per cent premium on the firm's 15 January closing share price.
The combined group would be 65.5 per cent owned by Informa shareholders and 34.5 per cent owned by UBM shareholders.
Chief executive of Informa, Stephen Carter, said: "It is clear that the B2B market is moving to operating scale and industry specialisation. The combined group will have the reach and market capabilities to take full advantage of these trends.
"We are today proposing the creation of a B2B information services group, which will be ideally positioned to serve a market demanding ever greater operating scale and industry specialisation. The combined group will have the international reach, operational capabilities and cashflow to pursue the full growth opportunities this creates."
Together, the two companies have well over 11,000 employees and a market cap of more than £9bn.
Informa recently bought US rival Penton for £1.2bn as it works to create an international business events powerhouse with the scale to attract the most valuable clientele to exhibitions and conferences.