UBM has confirmed it is in “highly preliminary discussions with a number of parties about a potential sale” of its PR Newswire business.
A statement from the global events organiser cautioned, however, “there is no certainty that these discussions will result in a transaction being agreed”.
Shares in the company bounced higher on the initial news, before falling back at the close (23 September).
It is understood that Evercore, the investment bank, is handling the auction for PR Newswire, which has been valued at around £500m.
The sale could transform UBM into a pure-play events business and likely see a reduction in its debt. A strengthened financial position could signal some future muscle flexing in the acquisitions field, analysts have said.
Sources in the City have identified GTCR, an American private equity firm, as one potential bidder for the PR Newswire business. GTCR has bought several PR software and services companies in the United States and Gorkana, the media monitor.
Pictured: Robert Gray, the recently appointed chief executive of PR Newswire