By Emma-Victoria Farr
LONDON – Information services and events organiser Informa is preparing to launch an auction process to sell its clinical trial data provider Citeline in a deal that could value the business at up to 1.2 billion pounds ($1.63 billion), sources familiar with the matter told Reuters.
The London-listed firm has hired Goldman Sachs to sell the business and is expected to send out confidential information packages between the end of January and early February, the sources said, speaking on condition of anonymity.
Centerview is working with Goldman on the sale, another source said, adding that the asset generates around 75 million pounds in core earnings.
Informa, Goldman Sachs and Centerview declined to comment.
Citeline is the biggest brand of Informa Intelligence, a portfolio of data and consultancy assets that Informa is in the process of carving out.
The unit makes up an estimated 60% of Informa Intelligence’s revenues and has a strong presence in the United States.
Other brands in the division include maritime data provider Lloyd’s List as well as a financial data asset.
Brokers estimate the combined carve out to be valued at between 1.8 billion–2.1 billion pounds, meaning Citeline’s valuation is likely to be north of 1 billion pounds.
The sale is mainly targeting heavyweight private equity funds that are expected to be more competitive than trade buyers.
The likes of KKR, Cinven, Apax, Bain, EQT, Montagu and Vitruvian are likely to be looking at the asset, the sources said.
KKR, Bain, Cinven, EQT, Montagu, and Apax declined to comment. Vitruvian did not immediately return requests for comment.
($1 = 0.7378 pounds)