Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Reed Exhibitions on the block... maybe

The Sunday Times is reporting that at least one private equity group is sniffing around Reed Exhibitions (RX)- owned by U.K.-listed Reed Elsevier (RE). The company's CEO Erik Engstrom claims that RE is just not interested, but with Reed Elsevier sitting on a £3.9 billion mountain of debt, it must be tempting to see what the market would offer.

According to The Sunday Times, Texas-based private equity firm, TPG, is interested and has valued RX at £1.5 billion. With RX's underlying profit of £150 million, that would seem a reasonable valuation. RX hosts some 470 events annually and employs over 2,700. In 2008, RX generated revenues of £707 million - about 13% of RE's £5.33 billion total revenues.

RE's half year results are due to be released on 29th July. Weak results just might push RE's management to think a little more seriously about a potential cash influx of £1.5 billion.

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