Emap sells 13 magazines to Informa for £28m cash

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The Independent Online

EMAP, the magazine publisher and radio broadcaster, yesterday raised its proceeds from disposals in recent months to £85m with the sale of 13 business magazines for £28m in cash to Informa Group, the business publisher whose titles include Lloyds List, the insurance and shipping daily newspaper.

EMAP, the magazine publisher and radio broadcaster, yesterday raised its proceeds from disposals in recent months to £85m with the sale of 13 business magazines for £28m in cash to Informa Group, the business publisher whose titles include Lloyds List, the insurance and shipping daily newspaper.

The titles being acquired by Informa range from monthly business magazines Insurance Age and Containerisation International to weekly publications International Freighting Weekly and Fishing News. The acquisition, which is expected to be earnings enhancing in the first full year, includes seven related exhibitions and events.

"The Emap titles are a good complement to our existing portfolio," said David Gilbertson, Informa's chief executive. "They'll fit well into the areas we serve, without duplicating anything."

The acquisition also includes Liner Shipping Network, an electronic information service distributed to subscribers over the Internet. It provides time-critical news and information about international container vessels and the freight industry.

In the year to March, the acquired businesses generated £2.8m in operating profit, before attributed overheads, on sales of £12.5m. The net assets being sold total £200,000.

"As we focus the group on specific and larger markets with potential for growth, we are rationalising the portfolio of our media businesses," said Kevin Hand, Emap chief executive.

In July, Emap said it would increase new product investment to £30m, including £10m for on-line sites. Its near 100 web sites, grouped in Emap Digital, are generating annual revenue of about £10m. In September Emap sold a 19 per cent interest in Metal Bulletin, the business publishing information group, for £32.6m. Last month, it disposed of Insert, a French outdoor advertising subsidiary which was acquired in 1994 when Emap bought Editions Mondiales, a French consumer magazine publisher.

After hitting 12-month lows at 730p last month, Emap stock has rallied. Although it closed yesterday up 2p at 822p, the shares are well below the all-time high of 1,418p recorded in March.

Informa has made several bolt-on acquisitions since it was formed last year from the merger of LLP Group and IBC Group, a publishing, conference and training provider. Mr Gilbertson is looking at further acquisitions and is prepared to spend upwards of £100m. Informa stock closed at an all-time high, up 4.5p at 431p.

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