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Informa jumps on confirmation of buyout talks

The UK-listed business had languished since talks with a strategic buyer collapsed in the middle of last month. Interest from a consortium of three firms has lifted the share price.

The share price of Informa, a UK business media group, recorded its biggest gain since October 2006 after it revealed it was in talks with three buyout firms about a £2.15 billion ($4.29 billion) takeover offer.

Informa rose as much as 13 percent on the back of a 506 pence a share offer made on 26 June to the board, which said talks are at an “early stage” and there can be no certainty that an offer will be made.

The company said in a statement late yesterday it disclosed the bid without the approval of the firms, which are Providence Equity Partners, Carlyle Group and Hellman & Friedman. The offer is 34 percent more than Informa's 378.25 pence closing price yesterday and 21 percent more than the 418 pence closing price on June 25.

A takeover of Informa, which owns more than 2,000 trade publications and organizes more than 10,000 conferences annually, would be one of the biggest leveraged buyouts in the U.K. since the credit crunch began.

Informa trade up by as much as 50.75 pence to 429 pence and traded at 415 pence as of 8.50 BST in London. 

Providence revealed its initial statement of interest after merger talks broke down on 17 June between Informa and United Business Media, the publisher of Information Week and owner of PR Newswire. Then Informa's shares traded at 435p.