Interview Synopsis

Informa – intelligence division spin-off & strategic outlook

  • Private Equity
  • TMT
  • Europe

Last week, Informa PLC, an information services and events organiser, announced preparations to sell its clinical trial data provider Citeline as it continues to carve up Informa Intelligence. The sale of Informa’s Intelligence division, announced in December, was a result of the company’s new focus on B2B markets, a former executive at Informa told Third Bridge Forum.

Pharma an intelligent bet for Informa Intelligence

The specialist began by describing the various sectors at Informa Intelligence, with pharma the largest compared to financial and maritime. The specialist said pharma contributes to around 35-45% of Intelligence’s revenue, and has “the strongest outlook, strongest current performance and perhaps the most attractive total addressable market to grow into” of the three sectors. 

Its growth rate has “accelerated quickly” over the past few years, we heard, thanks to the “enormous amount of demand” for intelligence and workflow tools. The division has also invested in products and “a more successful sales model” over the years, and the specialist said the pharma division’s current double-digit growth rate is “sustainable”, despite the expected reduction in business for COVID-19 trials.

Informa Intelligence’s finance and maritime divisions also have strong fundamentals, but the specialist highlighted them as areas where different parts could be spun out. The pharma division is more likely to be sold as a single entity, with the specialist speculating that competitors Clarivate or Evaluate and MMIT could buy it – the latter of which they called an “interesting combination”. 

Overall, the specialist said they were surprised by Informa Intelligence’s upcoming sale, but understood that Informa’s new focus on B2B business meant its Intelligence products “didn’t support that objective”. The specialist said the injection of capital would help the company accelerate its digital endeavours, as well as manage debts that have been restructured to “weather” the pandemic. 

We were told that Informa Intelligence is in “a very strong position” compared to six years ago, and having been quoted 16x EBITDA for its sale previously, it could expect a similar amount.

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