BRUSSELS: The long-running saga of Emap's attempt to unload its business-to-business publishing division has finally gotten a green light from the European Commission.

Competition commissioner Neelie Kroes approved the £1.3 billion ($2.62bn; €1.71bn) sale of the B2B titles to Guardian Media Group of the UK and global private equity group Apax Partners.

Kroes concluded that overlap between Emap's titles and those of Incisive Media – owned by GMG and Apax – were minimal.

She also noted that even after completion of the deal,  the combined entity would still have to contend with several strong and effective competitors.

GMG and Apax are also rumoured to be considering a bid for the B2B magazine stable owned by Reed Business Information, reportedly up for grabs with a £1.25bn price tag.

Data sourced from BrandRepublic (UK); additional content by WARC staff