AXIO Group announces the sale of Vidal Group

Press Release: The fourth major realisation from AXIO’s portfolio 

AXIO Group, which manages a global portfolio of market-leading information businesses has announced it has received a binding offer from M3, Inc. to purchase Vidal Group (‘Vidal’), a leading European provider of reference drug information for healthcare professionals, for €100 million

The proposed transaction, which remains subject to certain conditions including consultation with the relevant works council in France and regulatory approvals, would be the fourth major realisation from AXIO’s portfolio.

Vidal is a leading European healthcare informatics and information systems company. The company provides hospitals primary care physicians, pharmacists and patients across Europe with access to up-to-date drug databases and related treatment-based information, and so brings drug intelligence and clinical decision support tools directly to the point of care. Headquartered in Paris, and offering the gold standard reference product for healthcare professionals in France, the business has operations in a number of European countries including France, Germany and Spain, and has recently expanded its sales to Latin America and the Middle East.

The sale of Vidal would be the fourth major realisation from AXIO’s portfolio following the sales of MIMS in 2015 and of JOC Group and Breakbulk in 2014. Following completion of this disposal, AXIO would comprise three market-leading information businesses providing critical and often industry-standard information and tools. The group’s remaining businesses will include TechInsights in the intellectual property licensing sector, OAG in the global travel sector and RISI in the forests products sector.

Henry Elkington, CEO of AXIO Group commented;

“The Vidal brand has a unique position in the French healthcare community. Vidal is synonymous with quality medicines information, trusted and useful at the point of care. We have invested to develop multiple electronic products and channels to make Vidal information as widely available as possible as the needs and behaviours of healthcare professionals change. As a result we have built a large and active digital audience. We have grown the value delivered to our pharmaceutical industry supporters as Vidal’s electronic reach and usage have increased. In addition, subscription revenue has grown as we have expanded the number of software providers we integrate with, and developed additional clinical decision support tools.”

“The proposed sale of Vidal is another example of the successful implementation of our strategy for AXIO. Putting in place the right long-term strategy, and delivering with operational improvement, growth investment and focused disposals, has transformed Vidal such that it is highly attractive to strategic buyers. We continue to apply the same approach to AXIO’s remaining businesses, which have already more than doubled profits under our ownership.”

About AXIO Group

AXIO Group manages a portfolio of market-leading information businesses providing critical, and often industry-standard, information and tools. Operating in 12 countries worldwide, the group’s brands include Vidal in the healthcare sector, TechInsights in the intellectual property sector, OAG in the global aviation sector and RISI in the forest products sector.

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About Electra Partners LLP

Electra Partners is an independent private equity fund manager with over 25 years’ experience. During this time it invested in excess of £4.7 billion in over 200 deals. As at 31 March 2016, the firm had funds under management of £2 billion including capital available for investment of £400 million.

Electra Partners’ flexible investment strategy allows it to invest broadly across the private equity market with a particular focus on Buyouts and Co-investments, Secondaries and Debt. In addition to this, its long-term capital base means it is not constrained by expiring investment periods or exit pressure driven by fund raising cycles and is therefore able to realise investments only when returns are maximised for its investors.

The firm’s major client is Electra Private Equity PLC (“Electra”), a private equity investment trust which has been listed on the London Stock Exchange since 1976. Electra’s long-term investment performance has been consistently superior to private equity and other benchmarks. Over the ten years to 31 March 2016, Electra has seen diluted NAV per share growth of 228%. This is more than seven times the NAV per share return of the Morningstar Private Equity Index (ex. Electra). It is also equivalent to a ten-year annualised return of 13%, in the upper part of Electra’s target range of 10-15% over the long-term.

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