Bidders kick tires of Reed Elsevier’s biz pubs


The usual suspects, the private equity groups who play in the media area, are rumored to be among 20 or so potential bidders who are considering whether to make an offer for the business-to-business publications unit that Reed Elsevier put up for sale in February. But the UK’s Sunday Telegraph also reported that McGraw-Hill is among the potential bidders. According to a Reuters report, the first round bids due next month are expected to be in a range of $2-2.5 billion.

In the US, Reed Business Information’s (RBI) main titles are Variety, Broadcasting and Cable, Multichannel News and Publishers Weekly.

So, why would McGraw-Hill be interested? The owner of BusinessWeek has no media-related trade publications. It does, however, own Aviation Week and some titles in construction and engineering. Those would have some synergies with some RBI publications.

As for the other tire-kickers, they are said to include some private equity firms that have been active in bidding for US media properties – Bain Capital and Providence Equity Partners – and some of their European counterparts – Permira and Cinven. In all, around 20 potential bidders are believed to have taken a look at RBI.