Informa drops Springer bid

MEDIA group Informa has abandoned a bid for Springer Science &amp; Business Media, saying it was unable to do a deal in the time set by the debt-laden firm&rsquo;s private equity owners.<br /><br />Informa was planning to buy Springer after its owners, Candover and Cinven, put it on the market earlier this year. Springer was valued at about &euro;2.6bn (&pound;2.35bn) including debt.<br /><br />The British group walked away after investors balked at the amount of cash needed and the tight timings imposed by Candover and Cinven.<br /><br />&ldquo;Whilst there is clear strategic logic in combining Springer and Informa, the board has concluded after detailed consideration that the current environment is not conducive to making such a significant acquisition in the timescale required by the vendors,&rdquo; Informa said in a statement.<br /><br />After rising on Tuesday on hopes that investors would no longer have to back a large rights issue to fund the deal, shares in Informa yesterday fell 10p, or three per cent, to 296.5p.<br /><br />Informa publishes the Lloyd&rsquo;s List shipping newspaper, owns a range of academic and professional publications and runs conferences and courses.<br /><br />The group&rsquo;s withdrawal paves the way for Swedish private equity firm EQT to press ahead with a bid for Springer backed by a billion pound-plus loan. <br /><br />It is understood that an agreement of some sort between EQT and Springer could come within ten days, although private equity firm Apax Partners is also said to be interested.<br /><br />It is the second time Informa and Springer have ended takeover talks after the UK firm rejected a takeover bid by the German firm in 2006.