Tuesday, August 09, 2011

FT On Potential McGraw-Hill Break-Up

Reporting via mergermarket.com the FT suggests that the activist shareholders seeking to unearth greater value from their holdings in McGraw-Hill will face an up hill battle (FT).
McGraw-Hill has spent the last ten to twelve months receiving advice from a slew of media bankers, the industry bankers said. “Even if the activists have revolutionary ideas in mind, chances are it’s already been pitched to the management and considered under various scenarios,” the first of the bankers said.
And further comments on the education assets specifically:

McGraw-Hill has been receiving sales pitches for its education publishing assets, specifically its higher education textbook assets, the first and second bankers said.
These assets have drawn strong interest from financial sponsors like Blackstone and Hellman & Friedman and could fetch around USD 3.5bn in a sale, according to a lender following the situation. Both sponsors declined to comment.
Other sponsors with historical expertise in education include Bain Capital, KKR, Providence Equity Partners, and Warburg Pincus.
The approaches come as McGraw-Hill has been accused of being slow to respond to technology changes in the publishing business.
“They’re not playing in the back-office ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) areas and student information systems that Pearson (PSON:LN) or GlobalScholar are playing in and that are higher growth margins,” said a third banker.
Pearson’s education sales jumped 7% and operating profit rose 16% last year based on public filings, meanwhile McGraw-Hill’s revenue and operating income for 2Q11 decreased 5.0% and 18.3%, respectively. Pearson, the owner of the Financial Times, is the parent company for this news service.
With McGraw’s education business not growing, it makes sense to consider a split of the business from the company’s profitable Standard & Poor’s ratings service, the industry bankers said.
More from the FT here.

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