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Reed Business puts New Products Division up for sale

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New York—In the second time in as many months that it has moved to make a major divesture, Reed Business Information said Friday that it has put its 23-title New Products Division on the block.

The media company also let go several staff members last week, said Salina Le Bris, Reed director-corporate communications,who would not say how many jobs had been cut. She said most of the layoffs came from the ranks of support staff and “very few” were from editorial and sales.

The New Products Division covers many markets, including design, electronics, manufacturing, medical, processing, science and telecommunications. Its titles include Bulk Solids, CED, Chemical Equipment, Drug Discovery & Development, ECN, Food Manufacturing, Genomics & Proteomics, Laboratory Equipment, Pharmaceutical Processing, Powder and Wireless Week.

Media investment bank Jordan, Edmiston Group has been retained to handle the sale.

In December, Reed Exhibitions put its portfolio of North American industrial and manufacturing events up for sale. The portfolio includes AM Expo, Assembly Technology Expo and National Manufacturing Week.

Both moves have been made under the watch of new Reed President-CEO Tad Smith, who is traveling this week and unavailable for comment, Le Bris said.

Reed is most likely trying to prune its portfolio to focus on its core markets, such as building and construction, said Baran Rosen, president of media investment advisory firm Whitestone Communications.

“The timing is good to divest,” Rosen said. “Most b-to-b categories have recovered. So if you’re going to put something up for sale, now is an opportune time to clean house.”

Rosen added: “They’re still a lot of buyers interested in trade books.”

—Matthew Schwartz

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