UK's Informa rises on shareholder return, divestment plans

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Dec 7 (Reuters) - Events organiser Informa (INF.L) said on Tuesday it plans to return 1 billion pounds ($1.32 billion) to shareholders through stock buyback and a special dividend next year and aims to exceed pre-pandemic revenue by 2024, sending its shares up 7.4%.

The world's largest exhibitions group also laid out plans to divest its data and consultancy division, Informa Intelligence, and focus on its events and academic businesses.

"By concentrating on these growth markets, we will expand our Academic and Events businesses at pace through focused investment, accelerated digital growth and targeted acquisitions," Chief Executive Officer Stephen Carter said.

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Informa will invest up to 150 million pounds as part of a three-year programme to grow its business, the company said in a statement ahead of its capital markets event on Tuesday.

Informa added it had started the process of divesting its portfolio and the planned returns to shareholders would be subject to the sale of Informa Intelligence, which houses brands such as maritime data provider Lloyd's List and clinical trial data provider Citeline.

($1 = 0.7550 pounds)

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Reporting by Amna Karimi and Yadarisa Shabong in Bengaluru; Editing by Vinay Dwivedi

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