Publisher's Weekly and Variety On the Auction Block

Reed Elsevier, the UK company that owns Publisher’s Weekly and Variety, is selling off its magazine division, according to trade site The Bookseller.

The Bookseller reports:

The company’s LexisNexis business posted adjusted operating profits of £406m, an increase of 7% on 2006’s £380m, while Elsevier posted a 3% increase in adjusted operating profit, from £465m to £477m.

Reed Elsevier’s chief executive, Sir Crispin Davis, said: "We have made good progress over the last year. Investment against our online growth and workflow solutions strategy is paying off with good revenue momentum. Together with our cost initiatives, this is driving underlying margin improvement and a strong earnings performance. The decline of the US dollar takes some shine off the earnings performance expressed in sterling and euros, but the strength of the underlying growth is very encouraging with 2007 representing the highest constant currency earnings growth of the last ten years."

During a conference call, Mr. Davis reportedly told analysts that there is no particular buyer in mind. "We do think there will be a wide and strong level of interest in this business both from strategic and private equity buyers, we are very open minded on who and when," he said. 

According to Reuters, Reed’s bundle of magazines could fetch $2 billion.


Publisher's Weekly and Variety On the Auction Block