UBM In Talks Over Cut-Price Data Sale
UBM, the FTSE 250 media company which owns PR Newswire, is in talks to sell the world's biggest catalogue of forestry data for a knock-down price to a leading City investment firm.
I understand that Electra Partners, which includes the insurance company Esure among its investments, has entered a period of exclusive talks with UBM about acquiring its data services arm, four months after it was put on the block.
The talks have some way to run and may not result in a deal, according to people close to them.
Insiders said that UBM's price expectations had suffered a knock because of a jolt to the profitability of TechInsights, a division that provides data to intellectual property managers.
UBM's talks to sell the data arm comes as the company returns to the UK after a period of tax exile in Ireland. Government reforms to the way that overseas profits are taxed have led UBM and WPP Group to move their domicile back to Britain.
Electra's talks to buy the UBM unit are understood to value it at somewhere north of £100m, although at a lower price than some reports had suggested.
A number of other investment firms, including Nova Capital and Montagu Partners, had also expressed an interest in the business.
UBM and Electra declined to comment.