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United Business Media to Acquire Canon Communications

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Sept. 16 (Bloomberg) -- United Business Media Ltd., the publisher of InformationWeek, agreed to buy Canon Communications LLC from Spectrum Equity Investors and Apprise Media LLC for $287 million, its largest deal in five years.

The acquisition, funded by existing bank facilities, is expected to boost earnings per share by 9 percent in the first full year of ownership, London-based UBM said in a statement today. UBM rose as much as 8.7 percent in London trading.

Canon Communications, which offers tradeshows and related media products, has 343 workers around the world, including 278 in the U.S., UBM said in the statement. The company’s tradeshows mainly take place in the U.S., and it also holds shows in Europe and Asia. Its online business includes 45 websites.

“This deal looks a good strategic fit for UBM,” Patrick Yau, an analyst at KBC Peel Hunt in London, said in a research note. “Although not cheap, we see major strategic and scale opportunities.” KBC has a “buy” rating on UBM.

UBM rose as much as 52.5 pence to 656.5 pence and closed up 30.5 pence at 634.5 pence at 4:30 p.m. in London.

The acquisition is UBM’s 80th since April 2005, taking the total spent on purchases to 642 million pounds ($1 billion), Chief Executive Officer David Levin told reporters on a conference call.

“This is clearly the largest of the transactions,” Levin said on the call. “We wouldn’t anticipate anything of this scale in the short to medium term. We expect to keep moving forward with classic bolt-on acquisitions.”

Canon, based in Los Angeles, generated $106 million in revenue and $37 million in earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization in the year ended June 30, UBM said.

To contact the reporters responsible for this story: Louisa Fahy at lnesbitt@bloomberg.net James Cone at jcone@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Colin Keatinge at ckeatinge@bloomberg.net

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