LONDON, Jan 6 - Publishing and events group Reed Elsevier (REL.L)(ELSN.AS) is in advanced talks to sell some of its loss-making trade magazines and will close other titles during the first half of 2010, according to an internal memo.
John Poulin, chief executive of Reed Business Information in the United States, told staff he expected to announce the sale of various titles to separate buyers in the next few months, after the company failed to sell the whole business in 2008.
This unfortunately will result in title closures and job losses across the business, Poulin wrote in a memo sent to staff on Dec. 31 and seen by Reuters on Wednesday.
I know that this will come as a major disappointment but reflects the impact of the structural changes in our markets, accelerated by the recession.
Reed's RBI trade-magazines division brought in 463 million pounds ($739 million) of revenue in the first half, 15 percent of the company's total, and 5 percent of operating profit.
As well as controlled-circulation magazines that are distributed for free and paid for by advertising, RBI includes paid-for titles such as Variety and Reed Construction Data US & Canada, which the company intends to keep.
Reed Elsevier is a leading provider of publications and related work tools for scientists, healthcare professionals, lawyers and financial institutions. It also owns the world's biggest trade-exhibitions business.
The company hired industry outsider Ian Smith to succeed veteran CEO Crispin Davis early last year, but Smith resigned after just eight months in the job to be replaced by proven company insider Erik Engstrom. ($1=.6267 Pound) (Reporting by Georgina Prodhan; Editing by Hans Peters)