HAYNES Publishing has been snapped up by a French rival for more than £114m, the company has confirmed.
Infopro Digital has agreed to pay £114.5m for the business and the deal, which will see shareholders paid 700p for every share they own, will still need to be voted through at a meeting in the next month or two. But it is being recommended by the boards of both companies and is significantly above last night’s 431p trading price.
News of the sale sent Haynes’ share price soaring this morning by 58 per cent to 682.5p.
Haynes was best known for producing car manuals in the days before the internet, and put itself up for sale last November. At the time, bosses said they had spent the past five years re-establishing the company as an online business and believed now was the right time to leave the stock market and be run privately.
Infopro Digital founder and chief executive Christophe Czajka said his business had ‘long respected Haynes’ spirit of innovation and its reputation for excellence’.
He added: ‘With a deeply complementary product set and geographic footprint, the combined companies have an opportunity to serve our clients more effectively and to build on both organisations’ history of creating innovative, transformative products that the automotive industry has come to value.
‘We are committed to working together to create a company that will continue to help define the future of automotive data.’
Eddie Bell, chairman of Haynes, said the board felt the deal was ‘fair and reasonable’.
He added: ‘The Haynes board believes that the markets it serves have great potential for Haynes’ future growth and development, and that a combination with Infopro Digital will provide Haynes with the scale, capabilities and resources to ensure that it stays at the forefront of these markets and maximises its potential.’
John Haynes, who created the series of maintenance guides, died last February at the age of 80 after a short illness.