Cinven and Apax are among
the private equity groups believed to be in informal talks with Reed Elsevier
about acquiring its £1bn-plus exhibitions division.
It is understood Apax is
believed to be keen to merge the unit with Emap, which it acquired from Guardian
Media Group for almost £1.3bn in 2007.
While the chief executive
of Reed Elsevier, Erik Engstrom, insists there are no tabled plans to dispose of
the company’s exhibition assets, there is clearly a great deal of interest in
Reed’s exhibitions division from the private equity
Telegraph newspaper claims
informal meetings took place between Reed Exhibitions’ chairman Mike Rusbridge
(pictured) and the private equity groups over the past six to 12
At this stage talks are
purely informal, and any decision to sell would have to be taken by Reed
According to one senior
analyst, a break-up bid for the whole group would be worth significantly more
than the group’s current market value of £6.5bn.
Reed shares rose last
week following speculation of the potential break-up