NEWS13 April 2010

Infogroup bidders line up replacement for CEO Bill Fairfield

M&A North America

US— Infogroup CEO Bill Fairfield is slated to be replaced by a former Dow Jones executive if and when the database marketing and research group is sold to private equity firm CCMP.

In a memo to staff, Fairfield said he had the “utmost respect for the leadership within CCMP and Clare Hart, the prospective CEO”.

“I have indicated to them that I will assist in the transition for as long as needed,” said Fairfield.

Hart spent more than 25 years with Dow Jones, latterly as executive vice president and head of the company’s enterprise media group, which housed the newswires and Factiva business information service.

In January this year, the enterprise group was merged with its consumer media counterpart – holding group for the Wall Street Journal – prompting Hart’s departure from the company.

Her appointment at Infogroup is contingent on shareholders and regulators approving the sale. CCMP has offered $8 a share for the business, valuing it at $460m (or $635m, including the refinancing of Infogroup’s debts).

The deal has the backing of the Infogroup board and co-founder Vin Gupta, owner of 36% of the company’s shares. However, last week saw two shareholders, with a combined stake of 8%, lodge objections to the sale – criticising the valuation of the business and the timing of the proposed sale.