RBI Sale Expected in Second Half
Reed Elsevier posts $3.9 billion in first half revenue.
London-based Reed Elsevier today said that it has received a “strong level of interest from buyers” and that it expects its divestiture of Reed Business Information to be complete sometime within the second half of the year. The announcement came as part of its first half 2008 financial results.
Reed Elsevier posted encouraging first half financial results. The company reported adjusted operating profit from continuing operations (Elsevier, LexisNexis and Reed Exhibitions) for the first half was about $1.1 billion, up 12 percent from $940.7 million during the same period in 2007. Revenue was $3.9 billion, up 5 percent from about $3.5 billion during the same period last year.
First half adjusted operating profit from Reed Business Information (considered a discontinued operation) was about $122.7 million, up 7 percent from $108.9 million during the same period in 2007. Revenue was $958.6 million, up 3 percent from $881.3 million during the same period last year.
“We have made good progress in implementing our plans announced in February to accelerate growth: the planned divestment of Reed Business Information is progressing and we are seeing strong buyer interest in the business,” CEO Sir Crispin Davis said in a statement. Earlier this month, Davis announced his plans to step down as chief executive sometime next year.
Reed announced its plans to divest RBI as part of the company’s preliminary financial results statement for 2007, which was released in February. Since then, Apax Partners, Permira, Providence Equity Partners and Cinven have been floated as possible suitors. Early estimates put a sale at about $2 billion.
To help assure that RBI sells in one piece, Reed put together a group of banks to lend nearly $1.5 billion to the eventual buyer. The sale, however, faces steep hurdles due mostly to the soft economy.
RBI publishes a number of trade magazines including Variety and Publishers Weekly. Early last month, RBI eliminated 41 jobs as part of a company-wide restructuring effort.