Friday, February 22, 2008

Developing Rumour - some/all/part of Reed Business Information's business or titles are up for sale

Rumour came in this morning that Reed Business Information (RBI) is looking to sell something (limited confirmation coming out of the Guardian). Exactly what (titles or the whole) business is not sure. What is strong in the Rumour is that Flight and Travel Weekly are almost certainly going to be put up for sale in the UK. No word on what this means for the other travel publications such as the sterling Travolution. If this is true then two possibilities:
  • the seemingly unstoppable travel boom means that the ad sales teams at these titles can't take the orders fast enough ensuring cash flow that would be attractive to buyers; OR
  • industry execs have just stopped reading magazines instead getting all the news they need online.
Mark Sweeny in the Guardian thinks it will be the whole business and that it will capture a price tage of GBP1-1.3 billion.

What do you think - is the industry magazine business a dying one or vibrant and worth billions?

UPDATE - PaidContent is also covering the story. Looks like full sale is most likely. Are saying that 30% of revenue is from online.


Travolution Blogger said...

Not so much a rumour as it was announced to the London Stock Exchange yesterday morning. You can read the official announcement on the Reed Elsevier website:

Travolution's publishing house, RBI, which includes Travel Weekly in the UK and Australia, is being divested by parent company Reed Elsevier.

The company's intention is to seek a buyer for the whole company, which includes New Scientist, TotalJobs, the overseas divisions, and hundreds of other business titles.

This is not a micro issue about the travel press, although we are obviously involved, but a wider sale of a hugely successful media business.

Elsevier has stated it wants to concentrate on its subscription-based business rather advertising-based models with their inherent cyclicality.

Unfortunately I cannot comment much further only to add that the TW Group in the UK, which includes Travolution, Travel Weekly and, is a dynamic, profitable and fast-moving business.

It is also worth adding, if it helps answer your questions, that not many business media companies have launched a media brand (like Travolution), which has a print product in its portfolio, in the past two years and made a success of it. We clearly have...

But maybe we're bucking the trend of other publishing companies.

Tim Hughes said...

I have got to remember to hit the "publish post" button on a rumour before the stock exchange announcement comes out....

Thanks for the details