After buying risk management information provider Check Point for $4.1 billion, Reed Elsevier PLC has decided to sell off its Reed Business Information Unit, which includes an array of trade publications such as Variety, Publisher's Weekly, Broadcasting and Cable, Video Business, and Playthings, in order to reduce 'exposure to advertising markets and cyclicality.' Reed is in no hurry to divest itself of the RBI unit and, according to Reed Elsevier CEO Sir Crispin Davis, the company doesn't have a particular buyer in mind and is open to all sorts of possibilities--including selling to strategic or private equity buyers or even an IPO.
Although Reed Exhibitions, which puts on the New York Comic Con, the New York Anime Festival, Book Expo America and numerous other trade and consumer shows around the world, has been part of the RBI unit, it will not be sold. Reed CEO Davis told analysts: 'Reed Exhibitions has been one of our consistently strongest business in recent years. We think that will continue - it's highly cash-generative - so we just view this as a very attractive growth business.'