Page last updated at 19:49 GMT, Monday, 9 June 2008 20:49 UK

UK publishers begin merger talks

Screen grab of United Business Media's CMP brand's website

Shares in UK media firm Informa, the owner of shipping publication Lloyd's List, rose more than 15% after it began merger talks with a key rival.

Informa said it was considering an all-share offer from United Business Media (UBM), which publishes business titles, including Property Week.

The firm said there was no certainty of a tie-up. A deal would create a publishing empire with a value of 3bn.

The worsening economic climate is prompting media firms to consolidate.

Informa shares shot to the top of the FTSE 250 index, up more than 15% at one point before erasing some gains

Informa climbed 13% to end at 436p.

UBM shares added around 2% to close at 618p.

Synergies

UBM employs more than 5,000 staff in 30 different countries and produces trade magazines, newspapers and websites.

It also organises exhibitions and conferences.

Informa also has a large conference business and owns data analysis firm Datamonitor, which it bought in 2007.

Analysts have suggested that a merger would make good strategic sense with little overlap between the businesses.

But it is thought the bid could spark a rival offer from a private equity firm despite banks being less willing to lend money for deals in the current economic environment.


SEE ALSO
WPP frustrated in takeover battle
14 May 08 |  Business
Emap sells trade mags for 1bn
21 Dec 07 |  Business

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