Denver, USA: The venerable Jane's Information Group Ltd., publisher of Jane's Fighting Ships and other prestigious reference standbys, went on the block last week, and was sold to IHS Inc. of Englewood, Colo., USA in an all-stock deal worth $183.5 million, the buyer said.
The seller is Toronto-based, The Woodbridge Company Ltd., a private holding company of the billionaire Canadian Thomson family. Woodbridge controls 70% of financial publisher Thomson Corp., and had paid $110 million for Jane's Information in April 2001.
Thomson itself is in the midst of a $17.2 billion deal to acquire Reuters Group plc.
The buyer, a technical information group aims to strengthen its market position in publishing information on aerospace, defense and government.
London-based Jane's publications include the globally subscribed Jane's Defence Weekly.
Under the terms, IHS will issue 4.39 million new common shares at a $41.71 per share offer price, based on its closing share price June 11.
Woodbridge has committed to a three-year lockup agreement during which it will not sell any IHS shares, a statement from the buyer said.
IHS provides parts, standards, regulatory databases and related tools and services to the government entities and companies in more than 100 countries, while Jane's publishes information and analysis for global defence and security.