Reed Construction Data, Hanley Wood enter into alliance

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Reed Construction Data and Hanley Wood have been battling McGraw-Hill Construction separately. Now, it appears they've entered into a strategic alliance to take on the construction information giant together.

Late last week, RCD and Hanley Wood, publisher of Builder, announced they have formed a strategic alliance that will—at least initially—focus on creating “content-rich” directories in the commercial construction arena.

The first steps in the alliance will focus on integrating content from RCD's SmartBuilding Index, a construction product directory, with information from Hanley Wood's digital products and trade shows. The companies expect the new offerings to provide additional marketing opportunities for the construction industry.

Frank Anton, CEO of Hanley Wood, said the two companies' alliance has nothing to do with McGraw-Hill Construction. “M-H didn't enter into this decision,” he said. “The alliance plays to the strengths of Reed and Hanley Wood, so both businesses should benefit and be better able to serve the architectural market. That drove the decision to form the alliance.”

RCD had a similar alliance in place with Professional Builder and other former Reed Business Information properties before parent company Reed Elsevier sold the building industry titles earlier this year. “The trade show component is attractive,” said Steve Ritchie, RCD's VP-marketing and business development. “Also, there will soon be a deepening of [Hanley Wood's] access to the architectural market.”

Hanley Wood recently solidified a deal to make its Architect the official publication of the American Institute of Architects, beginning Jan. 1, 2011. McGraw-Hill Construction's Architectural Record has been the official publication of the organization.

RCD also launched a frontal assault on McGraw-Hill Construction earlier this year. It filed a lawsuit against McGraw-Hill Construction's Dodge unit alleging corporate espionage. The case is still pending.

Ritchie said the alliance with Hanley Wood may lead to the two companies working more closely together in the future. Anton agreed, saying, “HW is open-minded about extending this relationship.”

How close that relationship becomes remains to be seen. “Eventually, Hanley Wood will buy them if the housing market improves,” said an industry observer who spoke on condition of anonymity.

A McGraw-Hill Construction spokesperson declined to comment on the alliance.

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