A significant buyout agency is in talks to purchase WGSN, a supplier of shopper knowledge, in a deal that may mark the beginning of a break-up of its FTSE 250 father or mother firm.
Sky News has learnt that Apax Partners has entered unique negotiations to purchase WGSN from Ascential, which additionally owns the occasions organiser behind the Cannes Lions promoting competition.
City sources mentioned on Thursday that the discussions between Apax and Ascential had been now at a sophisticated stage, with an settlement anticipated to be reached inside a fortnight.
The value that Apax is anticipated to pay for the enterprise is unclear, though market insiders mentioned it was prone to be considerably beneath the £700m mooted earlier this yr.
Along with different bidders for WGSN, which supplies shopper traits knowledge to blue-chip purchasers, Apax had appeared to lose curiosity within the course of a number of months in the past.
Apax was beforehand the proprietor of Emap, which by a collection of company transactions in the end grew to become Ascential.
The London-listed group needs to promote WGSN and listing its digital commerce enterprise within the US, leaving its occasions operation as a standalone firm.
However, Ascential’s inventory has carried out weakly because the break-up plan was introduced by Duncan Painter, its chief government.
The shares are down 7% over the past 12 months and your complete group now has a market worth of little greater than £860m.
Apax and Ascential each declined to remark.