Consortium in pursuit of Ascential's Cannes Lions arm

A consortium of strategic and monetary buyers has approached Ascential, the FTSE 250 information and know-how group, with a bid to take over its Cannes Lions and different occasions operations.

Sky News has learnt that Hyve, a non-public equity-backed exhibitions firm, and MediaLink, a media and advertising advisory agency owned by United Talent Agency, tabled a proposal to accumulate Ascential’s occasions arm in the previous few weeks.

The consortium, which can be understood to have third-party financing from an unnamed buyout agency, is known to be being suggested by LionTree Advisors, the funding financial institution.

Under its plans, MediaLink would purchase the Lions and related property together with WARC, whereas Hyve would change into the proprietor of Money 20/20, a serious worldwide fintech occasion.

It was unclear on Wednesday whether or not Ascential’s board, chaired by Scott Forbes, had engaged with the consortium on its provide.

The worth of the bid may additionally not be ascertained.

Nevertheless, the disclosure of an method for Ascential’s occasions arm – which has not been notified to the London inventory market – could pile stress on Mr Forbes and Duncan Painter, chief government, to reveal additional particulars to buyers.

Last week, Ascential was compelled to verify a Sky News report that it was in unique talks with Apax Partners, the non-public fairness agency, concerning the sale of its WGSN shopper traits information enterprise.

“The board’s strategic actions to maximise shareholder value and position each business within the portfolio for long-term success are well advanced and a market update is expected before the end of the year,” it mentioned.

“The board confirms that it is in exclusive discussions with Apax in relation to the sale of WGSN.

“There might be no certainty that any binding transaction might be entered into.”

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Hyve, which was acquired by the non-public fairness companies Providence Equity Partners and Searchlight Capital in June, has beforehand expressed an curiosity in shopping for Money 20/20.

Ascential has already signalled its openness to a break-up, confirming in January that it might search to record its digital commerce enterprise within the US and retain a London itemizing for the occasions arm.

Its shares have been flat during the last 12 months, and in London buying and selling on Wednesday it had a market worth of just below £900m.

An exterior spokesman for Ascential was contacted for remark however didn’t reply.