Reed Business Information has put its 23-title New Products Division on the block, company executives confirmed. Also this week, the company laid off as many as 30, executives confirmed.
The Jordan, Edmiston Group has been retained to handle the sale.
The impending sale represents the second major divestiture announced by Reed in as many months, coming on the heels of the disclosure in December that the company is selling its industrial and manufacturing events.
Layoffs to Fund ‘Investment Program’
Both moves and perhaps more in upcoming months appear to be part of a companywide "investment program" being led by new CEO Tad Smith to refocus its growth. Company spokeswoman Salina Le Bris would not confirm how many employees were laid off, an anonymous tip to the New York media blog Gawker put the number at 30, including at least one veteran of the company, with more to come.
"We, like other b2b companies, have laid off a group of employees to fund the company’s investment program," Salina Le Bris, an RBI spokesperson, wrote in an e-mail to FOLIO:. A "large percentage" of those were HR, IT and finance support staff, according to Le Bris.
Those reinvestments will be earmarked for growth in RBI’s eLogic, Reed Construction Data’s online products and RS Means, and general print and additional skill sets, she said. She declined to comment when asked whether there would be more layoffs.
‘Pruning the Portfolio’
"They’re probably pruning the portfolio," a source with knowledge of the industry said. "I think strategic owners were waiting to see improvements in their portfolios in terms of how the businesses were performing, and now that they are seeing those improvements it’s a better time to prune. Just like Advanstar did last year, selling to Questex."