Charterhouse makes $710 mln cash bid for media firm Tarsus

By Pamela Barbaglia

LONDON, May 24 (Reuters) - European private equity firm Charterhouse said on Friday it had made a cash bid for Tarsus TRS.L 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 specialises 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.

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 yearto 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.

Tarsus operates globally across the United States, Europe and Asia and runs more than 160 events with a number of global brands including the Dubai Airshow, among others.

($1 = 0.7892 pounds)

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

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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.


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