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Reed Elsevier to Divest Reed Business Information

Variety parent company undergoing a ‘major reshaping’ of its portfolio.



By Jason Fell
02/21/2008

UPDATE: Internal memos from RBI CEOs Tad Smith and Gerard van de Aast

London-based Reed Elsevier announced today its planned divestiture of Reed Business Information, its business sector magazine publisher with locations in North America and abroad. The announcement came as part of the company’s preliminary financial results statement for 2007.

The divestiture is one element of what the company calls a “major reshaping” of its portfolio, including its sale of Harcourt Education. According to Reed Elsevier CEO Sir Crispin Davis, RBI is a “well-managed high quality business as evidenced by the success of its online growth and the control of costs. Its advertising revenue model and the inherent cyclicality fit less well however with the subscription-based information and workflow solutions focus of Reed Elsevier's strategy.”

Last Sunday, England’s Telegraph newspaper reported that Reed Elsevier was planning to cut 1,000 jobs. An RBI spokesperson declined to comment about the layoffs.

Reed Elsevier reported $8.9 billion in revenue for 2007, up 2 percent from revenue in 2006. The company also announced that it has acquired ChoicePoint, an insurance industry risk management firm. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Reed Business Information publishes more than 80 b-to-b magazines, more than 55 Web sites, and produces a number of industry events.

By Jason Fell
02/21/2008




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