I heard that Reed Elsevier was feeling pressure from investors to divest some of its publishing divisions, but I did not think it would be something as big as the LexisNexis division.
Reed Elsevier is facing growing investor calls for it to make some big strategic decision, the most likely of which, say some, is a sale of the group’s US legal business. Top of the likely buyers would be Bloomberg. The stock was down a shade this morning —slipping 1p to 516.5p by midday — but has steadily rebuilt from recent lows recorded last summer.
The announcement in October that long-serving finance director Mark Armour is to depart by the end of 2012 was read by many investors as a signal that change was in the air. Armour had been a close ally of departed chief executive Sir Crispin Davis.
The sale of the US business LexisNexis and other operations other than the core Elsevier business could generate a £1.4bn to £2.3bn boost for shareholders, according to analysts at Bernstein Research.
Boy, would that be irony. Lou Andreozzi, the former CEO of LexisNexis and now Chair of Bloomberg Legal, back heading LexisNexis.