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November 24, 2022

Euromoney £1.66bn private equity buyout completes and company split begins

The private equity buyout by Astorg and Epiris of Euromoney Institutional Investor has formally gone through.

By Charlotte Tobitt

A £1.7bn private equity buyout of Euromoney has completed, with a split in the company now due to begin.

Euromoney Institutional Investor PLC chief executive Andrew Rashbass is stepping down as a result of the takeover, effective from Friday. He said in a statement it had been a “privilege to work at Euromoney during a period of great change” and that he wishes the company and its new owners “continued success”.

The deal, announced in July, was approved by shareholders on 8 September and has since received regulatory approval. Euromoney will delist from the London Stock Exchange on Friday (25 November).

The two new private equity owners, Epiris and Astorg, will now begin the process of dividing the company between them.

The Fastmarkets division – worth the majority of the £1.66bn purchase price – will come under Astorg while the rest of the company, largely the asset management and financial and professional services divisions, will initially be dubbed New Euromoney as a holding name under Epiris.

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This process will not be complete until the end of March at the earliest, staff were told at a town hall meeting last week.

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Fastmarkets provides price data, news and market analysis from more than 200 reporters and analysts globally for markets including agriculture, energy, and metals and mining.

It will become a standalone entity owned and controlled by Astorg, which does not have vast experience in media compared to other sectors but says it acquires “market-leading global companies headquartered in Europe or the US, providing them with the strategic guidance, governance and capital they need to achieve their growth goals”.

The rest of Euromoney will operate under the majority ownership and control of Epiris. Henry Elkington of Epiris will be acting executive chairman until a new chief executive is appointed, after which he will join Epiris partners Chris Hanna and Ian Wood all as non-executive chairmen.

He said on Thursday: “Euromoney has successfully built a strong portfolio of trusted, specialist brands across its FPS and Asset Management divisions.

“The investment from Epiris and its experience in B2B information services will provide these brands with the support and flexibility to take advantage of the attractive growth opportunities across their end markets.”

The so-called New Euromoney, which will be rebranded, includes titles and divisions such as the financial magazine Euromoney itself, Airfinance Journal, Global Capital, Insider Publishing Group, Capacity Media and The Deal.

At a town hall meeting on 14 November, Press Gazette understands Elkington, Hanna and Wood told staff Epiris does not run businesses but focuses on helping them follow the right strategy.

They were clear investment would take place over the next three to five years, saying they can be longer-term investors than public companies which must show constant profit results to shareholders. They have no immediate plans to sell any part of the New Euromoney portfolio but will take a brand-by-brand review after the separation from Fastmarkets is complete.

Staff were also told there would not be a voluntary redundancy scheme asking a certain number of people to leave off the back of the sale, although some jobs will likely go at a later stage, and that their head office would remain in London.

The Epiris team said they would continue the company’s current diversity policy and pay review schedule but did not commit to retaining the Euromoney 3.0 hybrid policy led by Rashbass, which includes a 4.5 day working week and flexible working at home opportunities.

Epiris previously bought Time Inc UK including NME and Marie Claire in 2018 and oversaw the closure of both magazines in print before selling them to Future.

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