The shares are up 0.6% to 592.5p in the wake of the announcement.
Shore Capital analyst Roddy Davidson, who rates the stock a ‘buy’ says: ‘We are encouraged by this morning’s acquisition which although small, looks complementary, reasonably priced, and provides a reminder of the growing impetus behind the group’s “Events First” strategy following a period of substantial restructuring and repositioning…
‘We also note that the group’s recent AGM update (18 May) flagged that trading has been in line with expectations and that the outlook for the full year is unchanged - although anti-trust clearance related delays to the disposal of PR Newswire and planned payment of a c.55p special dividend from proceeds (whilst not expected to prevent this transaction) are a little unhelpful in the short-term.’
As Davidson says, the company is still in the process of divesting its PR Newswire (PRN) business. It agreed the sale of the division in $841 million to software firm Cision in December 2015 but the US Justice Department is looking into aspects of the deal.
Liberum noted in May 2016 that the sale (12 May) to third party Innodata of PRN’s Agility business may be a ‘solution to the unknown issue and subsequently lead to the completion of the PRN deal which has overshot its end of Q1 target completion date’.