Merging two massive B2B media, events, and business intelligence firms who primarily operate on opposite sides of the Atlantic is, undoubtedly, no simple task. But less than a year after its $1.56 billion purchase of Penton was first announced, Informa says the integration is moving ahead of schedule.
"The integration of Penton is progressing faster than planned," the company wrote in a trading update delivered to investors last week. "Business units have been combined with their respective Informa divisions, management responsibilities confirmed, and we are now operating as an integrated group."
That integration appears to have primarily impacted Informa's Business Intelligence division, which has been expanded and reorganized into six verticals and two additional "supporting capabilities."
Industry and Infrastructure Intelligence, a new vertical, draws primarily from Penton's brands serving the infrastructure, design and manufacturing, technology, and energy and buildings spaces.
Another new vertical, Transportation Intelligence, combines Informa's existing maritime business with Penton's aviation and ground transportation brands such as Aviation Week.
Two existing verticals, Agribusiness Intelligence and Financial Intelligence, have integrated former Penton brands like the annual Natural Products Expo conference and WealthManagement.com.
The remaining verticals, Pharma Intelligence and TMT Intelligence, appear to mostly draw from existing Informa properties.
Informa has relaunched its consulting business, leveraging each of the above mentioned verticals on behalf of clients.
A new marketing services offering, separate from the consulting business, will primarily draw from Penton's existing reach in the U.S. agricultural, manufacturing, wealth management, aviation, and ground transportation spaces.
The business intelligence division's CEO, Patrick Martell, has relocated from London to New York and taken on the additional role of chief integration officer. Reporting to Martell is former Penton CMO Kate Spellman, who now takes on the role of president of marketing services and communications for the division.
In the trading update, Informa reported that renewal rates within the division remain around 90 percent, and that the company anticipates a second-straight year of "improving growth."
"Trading amongst the distributed Penton brands remains on track, with good growth in events and the expected managed decline of print revenue mitigated by digital," the company said in the the statement.
Highlights, according to Informa, include record attendance and revenue at Natural Products Expo West (held March 9 – 13 in Boulder, Colorado), and "good revenue growth" from EquipmentWatch.