Publisher Reed Elsevier, Netherlands, has reportedly received up to 12 bids in the first-round of offers for the company's trade magazine arm, Reed Business Information (RBI) division. The division is valued at between £1billion and £1.25billion. US publishing giant McGraw Hill is reported to have submitted a joint offer with private equity firms Advent and Quadrangle.
The sale of RBI, whose titles include New Scientist and Flight International, began last month when information was sent to potential bidders. RBI is the largest B2B publisher in North America, with 2,500 employees and 80 magazines. If the sale is executed, it would be the biggest media takeover since the sale of Emap at the end of 2007.
Nielsen, which owns The Hollywood Reporter and Billboard, is also understood to have shown interest in the Reed business. Providence Equity Partners, Apollo Management and Bain are the other private equity groups that have submitted first-round bids. In addition to bids for the whole division, Reed is also believed to have received offers for just part of the business. Reed is now likely to draw up a short list and it is expected that the deal will be completed in the next few months.