LONDON: Some twelve bidders have registered opening offers for Reed Business Information, the Reed Elsevier publications unit on sale for more than £1 billion ($1.8bn; €1.2bn).

RBI's titles include New Scientist, Computer Weekly and Variety. It was put under the hammer earlier this year, following Reed's concern at future sustainability of its ad-supported business model.

Education, finance and business publisher McGraw-Hill is said to be among the potential purchasers, having teamed with two international private equity firms, Advent and Quadrangle.

Investment company Texas Pacific Group has reportedly allied with DLJ Merchant bank – Credit Suisse's private equity wing – to make a bid, with European buyout specialists Cinven and Candover uniting in similar fashion.

Marketing, media and data specialist Nielsen – the owner of titles including Billboard and The Hollywood Reporter – is also said to have shown interest in an acquisition.

Private equity firms Apollo Management, Bain and Providence Equity Partners are in the running too, according to observers.

It is not yet known whether RBI will be broken up or sold as a complete unit, though Reed Elsevier has previously offered to provide a loan to help finance any deal.

Data sourced from; additional content by WARC staff