UBM sells NOP World for £383m

UBM has been on the receiving end of the biggest UK media deal of 2005 by offloading its NOP World market research business to German firm GFK for a cool £383m.

The part-owner of Five and a portfolio of business magazines said around £300m of the proceeds from the sale would be returned to shareholders.

The deal was the last major piece of business carried out by outgoing boss Clive Hollick, former owner of Express Newspapers.

The NOP World division has been a profitable part of the UBM empire in recent years with pre-tax profits hitting £7.9m in 2004, up from £4.9m in 2003.

David Levin, the new chief executive of UBM, said: “David Levin, Chief Executive Officer of UBM, said: “I am delighted with the achievement of this excellent result, both for UBM shareholders, enabling us to make a substantial capital return, and for NOP employees, who will have significant opportunities as part of a larger market research group.

“This transaction creates a more focused UBM which can continue to develop its global publishing interests.”

By Kevin May

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