Reed Elsevier Abandons Sale of Magazine Unit

12 December 2008

LONDON: Reed Elsevier has abandoned the proposed sale of its B2B magazine unit Reed Business Information, which publishes a stable of titles ranging from Variety to New Scientist. The U-turn is blamed on "the recent deterioration in macro-economic outlook and poor credit market conditions".

Although private equity firms like Bain Capital, TPG and Apollo have all been linked with a possible takeover bid, none has so far made a formal offer.

Investment bank Numis cut its valuation of RBI from £927 million (€1.4bn; €1.0bn) to £692m last month, due to the organisation's difficult trading conditions and a contracting credit market.

Says Sir Crispin Davis, Reed Elsevier's outgoing chief executive: "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 realised in a transaction at this time."

RBI will now be run as a separate unit of Reed Elsevier, led by Keith Jones, current chief executive of its UK operations.

Data sourced from Financial Times; additional content by WARC staff