Blog Post

Reed Business: Selling a Year Too Late

I spoke to one of the top contenders in a possible bid for Reed Business, and the prognostication so far isn’t very positive. Yes, the source will end up looking at it (though nothing yet), but didn’t sound too enthusiastic about it: “It is a poor business gone ex-growth with very poor margins of about 13 percent. And while it has some great brands a lot of what they do is structurally challenged and has seen a huge migration of recruitment advertising online. This business will struggle to go for anything north of 7-8 times Ebitda. They are a year too late selling it in my opinion.”

On whether strategics will buy it: “I think they will end up selling it in pieces as VNU/Neilsen had to with their European business. UBM would only want bits and maybe Advanstar other bits, so this will not be easy.”