Reed Elsevier puts Reed Business Information in play; acquires ChoicePoint

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London—Anglo-Dutch media giant Reed Elsevier announced late Wednesday that it is divesting Reed Business Information to reduce its exposure to cyclical advertising markets. RBI’s major titles include Broadcasting & Cable, Publishers Weekly and Variety.

Reed Elsevier plans to retain Reed Exhibitions.

Salina Le Bris, a spokeswoman for RBI, said the company had no comment on the parent company’s decision to divest RBI.

“RBI is a well-managed, high-quality business as evidenced by the success of its online growth and the control of costs,” said Reed Elsevier CEO Crispin Davis in a news release. “Its advertising revenue model and the inherent cyclicality fit less well however with the subscription-based information and work flow solutions focus of Reed Elsevier’s strategy.”

Reed Elsevier also announced that it has agreed to buy ChoicePoint, which provides technology and information-based risk management products, for $4.1 billion.

The company said that combining ChoicePoint with its LexisNexis Risk Information and Analytics Group will create a risk management business with $1.5 billion in revenue. The deal is expected to close this summer.

Reed on Wednesday also announced its 2007 earnings results. RBI’s underlying revenue was essentially flat at $1.9 billion while adjusted operating profit was up 7% to $562 million, from $524 million in 2006. Online revenue was up 20%, while print revenue fell 2%.

—Matthew Schwartz

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