Bidding for Reed Elsevier’s US magazines – which are currently on the market – is understood to be slow.
Titles on the auction block include Variety, the American show biz daily and Publishers’ Weekly. At least one major American company Conde Nast, which everyone thought might be interested, has said it does not even plan to bid
There is speculation in media circles in the US that the Anglo Dutch publishing company might have “missed the boat”. A year ago the magazines, it is suggested, could have fetched up to $3.5 billion. Now they will be lucky to fetch $2.5 billion say some analysts. Plus the fact if the credit crunch gets worse it’s unlikely that any private companies will step in. Deals over $2 billion will be few and far between it is predicted.
Altogether there are about 400 titles up for sale, including in addition to Variety and Publishers’ Weekly, such publications as New Scientist, Broadcasting & Cable, MultiChannel News and Custom Builder.
Some analysts believe the company is too big and diverse. There is some speculation that if Reed Elsevier cannot find a suitable buyer, the magazines might be sold individually which could, it’s admitted, be a very slow process.