Posts Tagged ‘New Scientist’

New Scientist sale is good news for Relx investors

April 15, 2017
New Scientist magazine front cover

New Scientist magazine has been sold for an undisclosed sum

The sale of New Scientist magazine is seen as good news for Relx, an Anglo-Dutch company that has moved from print to online delivery of information in the past 20 years.

The FTSE 100 company was once known as Reed International, and owned paper making and building materials companies such as Crown Paint and Polycell. It then bought IPC Magazines and book publishers and switched its focus to publishing. In 1993, it merged with Elsevier, a Dutch group, to concentrate on academic and professional publishing.

Reed Elsevier sold off both the consumer books and IPC’s consumer magazines, which were seen as low-margin businesses, to concentrate on digital delivery of data and information to academia and business. It held on to trade and business magazine titles, such as Variety and New Scientist, but has spent the past 10 years selling these to invest in digital assets such as Lexis Nexis.

Now, New Scientist has been sold to Kingston Acquisitions, an investment firm led by Sir Bernard Gray. He was part of the £230m buyout of the Times Educational Supplement from News Corp in 2005 by private equity group Exponent. Hopefully, a third of the company’s staff won’t take up an offer of voluntary redundancy, as happened after that deal.

The recent history of Relx and Pearson makes a fascinating comparison. Both were conglomerates in the 1980s that decided to concentrate on publishing and media. However, Pearson always seemed a decade behind Reed. That gap has accelerated since Marjorie Scardino left Pearson. New MD John Fallon has seen Pearson’s share price fall by half in the past five years, while Reed’s has more than doubled. The big mystery is how Fallon has kept hold of his job.

 

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McGraw Hill linked to Reed Elsevier sale

July 20, 2008
New Scientist is one of hundreds of Reed titles up for sale

New Scientist is one of hundreds of Reed titles up for sale

Bidders look to be lining up for Reed Business Information, Reed Elsevier’s trade magazine arm, which is valued at £1.25bn. The Sunday Telegraph has two dozen companies expressing an interest. They include US publisher McGraw Hill and private equity firms Bain and TPG.

Reed, which wants to reduce its dependence on advertising revenue, is offering to lend £160m to the successful bidder for the publisher of New Scientist, Variety and Flight International.

Reed profile

Reed to sell business titles

February 21, 2008

Reed Elsevier – once the owner of IPC magazine with titles such as Woman’s Own and Loaded and the publisher of Winnie the Pooh – is to hone its strategy even more to concentrate on online media, says the FT.

It aims to reduce its exposure to print and advertising based products by selling Reed Business Information, whose magazines include New Scientist, Variety and Farmers Weekly. The business division depends on advertising for the majority of its revenues and online sales are only 30 per cent of revenues. In turn, it is spending £2 billion on ChoicePoint, a data provider.

In an analysis piece, the FT identifies several potential buyers for Reed’s New Scientist to Farmers Weekly division: Informa of the UK; Apax, the private equity group that has invested in Incisive and Emap; Veronis Suhler Stevenson, which yesterday bought Clarion Events; and private equity-backed competitors such as Nielsen and Springer. The going price is likely to be over £1 billion.