May 24, 2019 / 6:37 AM / 25 days ago

Charterhouse makes $710 million cash bid for media firm Tarsus

LONDON (Reuters) - European private equity firm Charterhouse said on Friday it had made a cash bid for Tarsus valuing the London-listed media firm at about 561 million pounds ($711 million).

The bid comes as private equity firms are increasingly seeking out listed companies in Europe in so-called take-private deals, where a public company is bought and delisted.

Based in Dublin, Tarsus Group has a market value of 383 million pounds and specializes in a wide range of business-to-business media activities including exhibitions and conferences.

Its focus on global exhibitions is seen as a major attraction for Charterhouse which said the sector has strong growth drivers, margins and cash generation.

Tarsus shares were up 37.5 percent at 10.58 GMT

Charterhouse’s bid represents a premium of about 36.2% to the closing price of 312 pence for each Tarsus share on May 23.

The proposed offer, to be carried out via a scheme of arrangement, gives shareholders 425 pence in cash for each share they hold.

Tarsus shareholders will also be entitled to a final dividend of 7.7 pence for each Tarsus share for the year to December 31, 2018, if investors approve the pre-close dividend at the company’s annual general meeting on June 19 2019.

Charterhouse said the terms of its bid implied a valuation of 668 million pounds including debt.

The offer represents a multiple of roughly 17 times the company’s average earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) in the past two financial years.

Charterhouse is using an acquisition vehicle dubbed Tiger Acquisitions UK to carry out the transaction.

It has hired Moelis as the lead adviser on the deal along with Goldman Sachs while law firms Allen & Overy and Carey Olsen Jersey have been retained as legal advisers.

Tarsus, which operates globally across the United States, Europe and Asia, is working with Deutsche Bank and law firms Macfarlanes and Ogier. Peel Hunt and Deutsche Bank are also acting as joint corporate brokers to Tarsus.

The company runs more than 160 events with a number of global brands including the Dubai Airshow, among others.

Reporting by Pamela Barbaglia; editing by Jason Neely and Jane Merriman

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