Events and business information group Informa has sold the historic shipping news brand Lloyd’s List and the rest of its maritime information operation to private equity firm Montagu.

Informa said the deal valued its maritime intelligence arm at £385m ($458m), and that it would retain a 20% stake in the business.

The deal completes Informa’s £2.5bn ($3bn) disposal programme that was driven by the need to rebuild its balance sheet after its core global events business was hammered during the Covid-19 lockdowns.

Montagu is a mid-market PE firm with Euro10bn of assets under management for around 100 institutional investors, 40% of which are in Europe. It was formed in 1968 as part of Midland Bank, then later HSBC, before reviving the historic Montagu name in a management buy-out in 2003.

No detailed plans were disclosed for the maritime information business, although Montagu said it believe the maritime information business would complement other data and analytics companies in its portfolio.

Montagu director Edward Shuckburgh said: “Maritime Intelligence is a unique business with a historic legacy and reputation hard-won over hundreds of years.

“It is complementary to our portfolio of data and analytics investee companies with strong current growth and revenue acceleration potential. We are pleased to welcome the business to the Montagu family.”

The deal is the second between the two companies in less than a month. In July, Montagu announced it had agreed to by financial intelligence provider EPFR from Informa at a valuation of £162m ($193m).

In a statement, Informa said it had “Divested of Maritime Intelligence (Lloyd’s List), at a valuation of £385m ($458m) to Montagu, receiving cash proceeds (subject to finalisation of working capital and capital structure) whilst retaining a 20% equity interest.”

Informa chief executive Stephen Carter said: “We have come through a period of unprecedented volatility due to COVID-19 as a stronger Group that is positioned for growth in the global Knowledge Economy.

“We have refocused our portfolio on academic markets and B2B markets – where we champion the specialist — whilst securing highly attractive valuations for our portfolio of non-core Intelligence businesses.”

The Lloyd’s List news brand is only a minor part of Informa’s maritime intelligence portfolio, despite its history dating back to the Lloyd’s coffee house in 1734 as part of the early insurance market.

Michael Dell, chief executive of Informa maritime intelligence said: “We are delighted to join Montagu and the suite of knowledge-led and tech-enabled businesses in their portfolio.

“Partnering with Montagu supports our continued delivery of innovative maritime analytics for customers, and we are confident of a bright and prosperous future under their leadership.”

Over the years Montagu has invested in a range of maritime and shipping businesses including the feeder network Unifeeder, the Isle of Man Steam Packet Company, and Harwich and Bristol ports. All stakes have since been sold.