The latest estimates from analysts say the group could fetch a total of 2 billion pounds, or $4.1 billion at current exchange, when it's sold off. Emap confirmed earlier this month that there have been no offers for the entire group, so it looks as if the business-to-business, consumer magazines and radio divisions will be sold off separately. Emap's B2B division, which includes WGSN, is the most prized asset and has an estimated price tag of more than 1.2 billion pounds, or $2.46 billion. Bidders for that division are thought to include the Guardian Media Group, the Reed Elsevier publishing group and private equity firms Providence, Apax and Cinven, the former owner of publishing group IPC. Second-round bids for that division are due by Dec. 3, according to letters issued by Citibank and Lazard, which are conducting the review.
Bidders for the consumer magazines division are thought to include Hearst and the private equity firms Exponent, Apollo, Cinven and Providence.
In the first half ended Sept. 30, Emap's total group revenue fell 26 percent to 408 million pounds, or $836 million, from 554 million pounds, or $1.14 billion, due mainly to the impact of disposals and closures, including Emap France. Pretax profits for the half slipped 16 percent to 80 million pounds, or $164 million, from 95 million pounds, or $195 million. — Samantha Conti