NO SALE FOR REED: Reed Elsevier, the Anglo-Dutch company which publishes titles including Variety and New Scientist through its Reed Business Information arm, said Wednesday it had ended talks to sell that division, citing the current tough market conditions. “In view of the recent deterioration in macroeconomic outlook and poor credit market conditions, and after discussions with short-listed bidders, the board has judged it not possible to structure a transaction on acceptable terms at this time,” the company said. Now, RBI will be managed as a separate division within Reed Elsevier, headed by Keith Jones, who has been appointed chief executive officer of RBI. Jones was previously chief executive officer of RBI’s U.K. division. However, the company said it still plans to sell RBI in “the medium term,” when market conditions are more favorable. “Whilst the short-term outlook for RBI is challenging given the recent deterioration in economic outlook, we believe the business has significantly more value to our shareholders than could be realized in a transaction at this time,” said Sir Crispin Davis, chief executive officer at Reed Elsevier.
Reed Elsevier first revealed plans to sell RBI in February, in order to reduce the company’s exposure to the division’s advertising revenue model and cyclicality of RBI’s business. Reed Elsevier’s primary business is providing workflow solutions and information through products such as LexisNexis. Texas Pacific Group was reported to have been among the possible bidders for RBI, along with the German publisher Gruner + Jahr.
— Nina Jones