The pending sale of Entrepreneur Media to Austin Ventures and Castanea Partners, reportedly for $160 million, has been scuttled, according to various media sources. In a memo to Entrepreneur employees, Peter J. Shea, chairman-CEO of Entrepre-neur Media wrote, “I have made the decision not to proceed with the sale of Entrepreneur Media. There are several reasons for this; one being that I decided that I am not ready to retire, another reason being that the debt market has made it a very difficult market for buyout funds to raise debt financing at a reasonable multiple and percentage rate.”
In a press release discussing Reed Elsevier's first-half financial results, CEO Crispin Davis said, “The planned divestment of Reed Business Information is progressing, and we are seeing strong buyer interest in the business.” Reed Elsevier said its revenue from continuing businesses increased from $3.5 billion in the first half of 2007 to $3.9 billion in this year's first half.
Bucking a trend in overall merger and acquisition activity in the publishing industry, the number of deals in b-to-b media increased in the second quarter, according to M&A firm Whitestone Communications. However, the value of those deals decreased markedly. The number of b-to-b deals in the second quarter totaled 16, up from 14 in the first quarter and 12 in last year's second quarter. The total deal value in the second quarter was $60 million, down from $249 million in the first quarter and $225 million in last year's second quarter.
Time Inc. has shifted editorial production of Fortune Small Business to its Content Solutions group, which handles custom publishing. Fortune Small Business Editorial Director Brian Dumaine, who reports to Fortune Managing Editor Andy Serwer, will manage the Content Solutions' staff of full-time and freelance journalists, who will handle editorial for Fortune Small Business. “It was a combination of reasons, including cost control as well as having a wider array of journalists,” said Dawn Bridges, a Time Inc. spokeswoman. The sales side will continue to be run by Fortune Publisher Hugh Wiley.