Reed Elsevier eyes more acquisitions

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London—Reed Elsevier, the parent company of Reed Business Information, plans to make a new round of high-profile acquisitions despite unveiling a $1 billion share buyback, CEO Crispin Davis told reporters Thursday.

“Our acquisitions have ranged broadly from the $50 million to $500 million sort of range,” Davis said during a conference call with journalists. “I would anticipate that being the scale of acquisitions going forward.” He said the priority targets for acquisitions would be in the legal and health care markets and added that no major deals were on the horizon.

Davis’ comments come a few weeks after Reed Elsevier’s chief rival, Dutch media giant VNU, went into play. A consortium of private-equity funds has bid nearly $9 billion to acquire the company, and would most likely break it up and unload the b-to-b division, which includes Billboard and The Hollywood Reporter. A group of VNU shareholders earlier this week reportedly proposed breaking the company into three pieces: publishing, media research and marketing research.

—Matthew Schwartz

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