RBI warns of sell-offs and closures in the US

Anglo-Dutch publisher Reed Elsevier has revealed that it is selling off its US trade magazines business RBI piecemeal.

In 2008, plans to sell off RBI – which in the UK publishes titles such as Farmer’s Weekly, Estates Gazette and New Scientist – were abandoned after the estimated bid price for the business dropped from £1.3bnn to £650m.

The FT and others reports today that John Poulin, chief executive of Reed Business Information in the US, has told employees he expected to announce the sale of various titles to separate buyers in the coming months.

“This unfortunately will result in title closures and job losses across the business,” Poulin wrote in a memo to staff at the end of December.

“I know this will come as a major disappointment but it reflects the impact of the structural changes in our markets, accelerated by the recession.”

The last year has seen restructuring in Reed’s Sutton-based RBI business information and magazines business.

In July, 2009, it sold its travel portfolio – including Travel Weekly magazine – to the entrepreneur behind Holiday Autos Clive Jacobs.

And in November it closed 130 year-old weekly magazine for the construction industry, Contract Journal.

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