Blog Post

Desperate Times: Reed Elsevier May Offer Loan To RBI Buyer; One-Piece Sale Preferred Again

Reed Elsevier (NYSE: RUK) is so desperate to get rid of of its Reed Business Information unit that it is organizing a consortium of banks to lend more about $1.5 billion to the eventual buyer of its more than $2 billion trade magazine division, so that the whole division is sold in one piece, reports Telegraph. This continues the rather haphazard sale process for the company, and is another change in parent company’s thinking. First it declared the intent to sell it to one buyer in on piece. Then it changed its mind after lukewarm interest, and decided (or at least the buyers wanted it to) to sell off the U.S. piece separately from the European division. And now this: UBS, BNP Paribas, JP Morgan, GE, Bank of Ireland and Lloyds TSB are among those expected to join the “stapled finance” consortium.

This loan is about 4.75 times Reed Business Information’s underlying earnings of $320 million, and the loan would only be available to those bidding for the whole group, the story says. UBS, who is the banker from RBI’s side, will leave various interested private-equity buyers with limited ability to raise money elsewhere on different terms.

For more on RBI