Monday, May 14, 2007

Reed Looks to Profit From Thomson Learning Multiple

The multiple paid for Thomson Learning was astounding given the general view the business unit would sell for almost $2.0Billion less. Not surprising, Reed Elsevier are as gobsmacked as all of us but think that they can generate something of the same multiple for their learning unit. The comparisons are not exact between the two units however one thing is similar; that both represent unique moments to buy leading players in their segment and it is unlikely that a similar combination of assets will come up for sale within the next five years or so. Here is The Independent:

The analyst Simon Wallis believes valuing Reed's total discounted cash flow
on a multiple of 6 times pre-tax earnings, a typical private equity buyout
valuation, gives the shares a potential value of 930p. The Swiss bank UBS also
believes there is more upside in Reed, giving the stock a more modest 740p price
target. Shares in Reed firmed 3p at 666p while the rivalPearson rallied 17.5p to
908p on news that it has acquired the online learning group eCollege for

Reed has already sold some of the Harcourt assets to Pearson but the rump educational business remains and likely will exceed earlier expectations on price.

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