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July 19, 2022updated 07 Oct 2022 7:10am

Informa buys US B2B publisher Industry Dive for £323m

By Charlotte Tobitt

UK-based B2B and events business Informa has bought US business publisher Industry Dive.

Informa bought Industry Dive for $389m (£323m) in cash, saying the deal would enhance growth, margin and earnings in its B2B digital services division.

The sale price is just over 11 times Industry Dive’s EBITDA profit figure.

It follows another big B2B information deal yesterday (18 July 2022) when private equity firms Astorg and Epiris agreed to pay £1.7bn for Euromoney (a ratio of 21.5 times Euromoney’s last published EBITDA profit figure).

It will also add “capabilities in audience development and lead generation generated by high quality specialist digital content and business journalism,” the company said.

It is expecting to see revenue synergies by combining Industry Dive’s platform, specialist content and B2B data with Informa’s existing B2B brands.

Industry Dive currently publishes 27 “Dive” brands including BioPharma Dive, Construction Dive, Cybersecurity Dive, Food Dive, Healthcare Dive, MedTech Dive and Waste Dive, with a total audience of 13 million and more than 100 journalists.

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Informa said it would quickly launch new Dives and roll out new in-person and online events for the existing brands. It is also anticipating increased engagement with Informa’s existing events customers using Industry Dive’s content, as well as the cross-selling of specialist content marketing and lead generation services.

The buyout came as Informa reported underlying revenue growth of 40% in the first half of 2022 to £1.1bn with double-digit growth in its B2B digital services division and a “strong return” for in-person events. Group adjusted operating profit was £220m.

The Informa share price jumped to £5.64 today, up from £5.37 on Friday, giving the London-traded company a market capitalisation of £7.8bn.

Stephen Carter, Informa’s group chief executive, said: “Our improving performance enables us to embark on further market and geographic expansion, including the acquisition today of Industry Dive which further enhances our B2B digital services portfolio.

“Industry Dive, which like Informa, champions the specialist, has repurposed the traditional B2B publishing model for specialist markets in the digital age. It provides high quality digital content and business journalism to 13 million decision makers through its 27 specialist Dives.”

Industry Dive was launched by three co-founders in 2012 and reached profitability after more than a year.

It later received numerous private equity-funded investments and has since grown to serve 24 specialist B2B markets with 27 Dives. North Carolina-based private equity firm Falfurrias Capital Partners has had a majority stake in the business since September 2019.

Industry Dive’s co-founder and chief executive Sean Griffey told Press Gazette last year the publisher had decided against putting its specialist content behind a paywall like many others in the sector, saying “ad models and marketing models still really work if the audience is incredibly valuable. And where the audiences are very valuable are in niches”.

The Dive sites aim to be “insightful” to their business executive audiences, he said, by giving them information about “What does this mean for your company? For your job? For the future?”

In 2021 Industry Dive generated revenues of $81.9m (£68m) in 2021 – well over double its 2019 figure – with a profit margin of roughly 30%.

Informa said on Tuesday Industry Dive is on track to earn around $110m (£92m) in revenue in 2022 with earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) of $34m (£28m).

Earlier this year Informa sold its pharma intelligence business to a New York-based investment fund for $1.9bn.

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