Is it a ruse to gain access to their financials or does Reed Business Information really want to purchase the Emap B2B titles. That is what a number of high profile private equity firms are considering after they were assured by the sellers that there were no commercial operators interesting in Emap. (Telegraph) Other observers have suggested that Reed may also decide to join one of the PE buyers (or wait on the sidelines until it is all over) and negotiate to cherry pick the best titles that fit with their current stable of publications. The company is especially interested in titles that have or could have strong electronic/online opportunities. Reed also has an interested in Harcourt/Riverdeep which they could trade with a PE firm for the (some) of the titles they would like to own.
The whole Emap sale has been convoluted and murky from the get-go, and with the public notification of Reed's interest the bid participants were given an additional opportunity to revise their bids. No bidder has ever appeared inclined to buy all of Emap which of course is what the sellers prefer (Guardian). The company also announced interim results earlier this week which indicated a profit decrease of 16% although the company maintained their full year guidance (Reuters). Emap consists of b2b, consumer magazines and radio.
In separate news, Reed also confirmed that the company is on track to achieve 10% growth in EPS this year with all segments of the business performing well. Hemscott