Emap split paves way for break-up

Emap, the debt-laden media group, is being split into three operating companies in a move which seems likely to pave the way for a break-up.

Its joint owners, Guardian Media Group and Apax Partners, who bought Emap for £1.1bn in 2008, are also renaming the parent company Top Right Group as part of the shake-up.

The restructured group will comprise an events arm called i2i Events Group, information services called 4C Group, and publishing, which will still be known as Emap.

Duncan Painter, the chief executive, said the new name would "reflect the structural changes and the organisation's long-term growth and high performance aspirations". He added: "We're devolving responsibility from the centre and will give our new operating companies the freedom to be more independent."

GMG and Apax are widely thought to have over-paid for Emap and had to inject cash into the business to avoid the risk of a breach on bank covenants in 2010. The owner of The Guardian took a £96.5m writedown on the value of its 30 per cent stake.