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UBM Reportedly Hoping To Sell PR Newswire to Cision for $841 Million As Part Of 'Events First' Strategy

Dec 16, 2015 04:23 AM EST | By Jean-Claude Arnobit
UBM plc, PR Newswire, Cision, acquisition
UBM Sells PR Newswire to Cision for $841 Million, Significant Step for UBM's Events First Strategy
(Photo : Araya Diaz | Getty Images News)

UBM plc, one of the world's leading B2B events organizers, has announced in a press release that it will be selling PR Newswire to Cision, a business controlled by GTCR Canyon Holdings, for $841 million.

The transaction is a significant step towards executing UBM's "Events First" strategy as the company looks to focus on the attractive, high growth global sector.

Tim Cobbled, the CEO of UBM, said that the objective of their strategy is "to become the world's leading focused B2B Events business."

"Following the successful acquisition of Advanstar in 2014, the disposal of PR Newswire further increases our focus on the attractive, high growth and high margin events sector with more than 80% of UBM's continuing revenues generated in Events," he said.

He adds that the proceeds of the sale increase UBM's capacity to "invest in bolt-on acquisitions o strengthen the portfolio and grow the business faster, whilst maintaining appropriate financial discipline."

Bloomberg reports that UBM is competing with Relx Plc and Informa Plc in organizing some of the world's largest trade shows and exhibitions.

The three companies compete for events like the Singapore Jewellery & Gem Fair and the Tissue World show in Barcelona.

Shares of UBS have increased 2.8 percent to 486.10 pence on 8:27 a.m. Tuesday morning in London, which gives the company a market value of £2.2 billion.

UBM said that the $841 million proceeds will be comprised of $810 million in cash and $31 million of preferred equity, on a fair value basis.

Following the completion of the transaction, the company is proposing to return £245 million to shareholders by way of a special dividend.

The remainder of the sale proceeds will provide the company greater financial capacity to drive the strategy through bolt-on acquisitions.

UBM expects to complete the transaction in the late first quarter of 2016.

Cision said in a statement that the acquisition of PR Newswire strengthens their services to better serve their clients. 

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