Hyve suitor Providence buzzes around Cannes Lions owner | Business News

The buyout firm circling Hyve, the listed exhibitions group, is weighing a move to bolt it together with the rival company behind the Cannes Lions advertising festival and the international fintech event Money20/20.

Sky News has learnt that Providence Equity Partners is hatching plans to bid for parts of Ascential, the London-listed company which has confirmed plans to break itself up in the coming months.

Providence could seek to combine the Ascential division with Hyve if it is successful with a £300m bid for the latter company, according to City insiders.

The 105p-a-share cash offer for Hyve, which emerged last month, is being considered by its board.

Providence is also among the private equity firms examining bids for WGSN, the fashion forecasting arm of Ascential, which has been formally put up for sale.

Ascential is also planning to list its digital commerce business on a standalone basis in the US, with the events business intended to remain listed in London.

Other major buyout firms are also thought to be examining bids for both WGSN and the events arm.

A combination of Hyve and the Ascential events operations would possess substantial industrial logic, according to analysts.

In 2021, Hyve drew up plans to bid for Money20/20, but the talks between the two sides failed to result in a deal.

Parts of the exhibitions industry have recovered strongly from the pandemic with in-person events now back at pre-COVID levels of attendance.

Providence declined to comment.

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