Apax and Carlyle consider Informa

Specialist information publisher Informa Plc is being eyed by private equity groups including Apax and Carlyle, according to a report in The Times today.

Informa is quoted on the London Stock Exchange and has a market capitalisation of £1.64bn (US$3.2bn).

A buyout house is yet to approach it. Should a deal go ahead, it would follow a series of take-privates in the publishing space. Apax acquired business-to-business publisher Incisive Media in 2006 and Emap’s business-to-business publications a year later.

Informa acquired fellow information provider Datamonitor in 2007 for £502m since when its share price has dropped by around 40%.

However, conference producer and provider of information to the academic and scientific, professional and commercial business communities Informa has a low exposure to advertising and reported pre-tax profit growth of around £25m to £202.6m in the year to December 31 2007.