With the announcement today of its acquisition of conference company IIR Holdings for $1.4 billion in cash, T&F Informa is clearly responsible for the most startling and dramatic growth in the information industry in recent years, outside of comets such as Google and Yahoo! Today T&F Informa – whose core is the product of Taylor & Francis’ merger a year ago with Informa Group - is unrecognizable from the $222 million Scientific, Technical & Medical (STM) publisher that Taylor & Francis was three years ago. Outsell analyst Chuck Richard sees a remarkable story in the transformation:
Growth: T&F Informa's pro-forma 2004 revenue is about $1 billion, and after adding IIR its revenue will approach $1.5 billion, about seven times T&F’s 2003 revenue. In addition to Informa, other recent T&F acquisitions include CRC, Marcel Dekker, pharma publishing leader PJB, Swets Zeitlinger Publishers, and Sparks (acquired by Informa just before the merger), a leading U.S. agricultural and food analysis and consulting firm. T&F Informa will now be the 22nd largest company on the Outsell 100(SM) Performance Scorecard, up 10 steps from 32nd last year. It will match or pass United Business Media ($1.5 billion) and approach the size of Dow Jones ($1.7 billion) and Emap ($1.9 billion).
Breadth: This completes the transformation of T&F Informa from an STM player into a Big Diverse publisher, in the image of McGraw-Hill, Thomson, and Reed Elsevier, delivering content in multiple information type segments. This shift began with Informa, which had many business-to-business (B2B) market sectors. T&F Informa now organizes itself into Academic, Commercial, and Professional divisions. It has added the following sectors, all quite different from its original STM core: Audit & Risk, Business Strategy, Compliance & Legal, Defense, Energy, Finance, Industrial Relations, Public Sector, Tax & Accounting, Telecoms, and Transport. New IIR sectors more closely related to Taylor & Francis’ original core include Life Sciences and Health & Safety.
Performance: T&F Informa has continued to perform well as it manages all these acquisitions. At No. 35 in the Outsell 100 Performance Scorecard, it's the second-best Big Diverse performer, one step below the best-performing McGraw-Hill at No. 34. After T&F Informa, the next-ranked Big Diverse company is Thomson at No. 52.
In last year’s Briefing “Competitor Assessment – Revolution In The Land Of The Giants,” Outsell's Chief Analyst Leigh Watson Healy noted that this rapid expansion was an explicit part of T&F’s strategy, and that the growth would likely take it out of its STM core. That strategy has clearly paid off today.