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Friday, September 30, 2005

VNU pt. 2 

BtoB reports that the Wall Street Journal reports that VNU "may be mulling a sale of VNU Business Media"--among other moves--to placate investors leery of VNU's proposed acquisition of IMS. That was Sept 29.

This blog, on Sept. 6, speculated on The Deal's speculation, on the same thing, with a tip of the hat to IWantMedia.

This isn't quite the same thing as ripping off Rafat Ali's, but the Journal seems to be getting ever-slower in its media reporting. Perhaps the Journal should subscribe to The Deal?

Key grabs from the Journal:

There is still a lot of time before the VNU-IMS deal is set to be completed and it could go through without VNU making any concessions. VNU has said it aims to finalize the deal by the first quarter of 2006.


"The market is implying roughly a 50% probability of the deal closing, which is unusually low for an agreed deal," says Steve Schlemmer of Churchill Capital, a boutique brokerage firm specializing in mergers.

If VNU is forced by shareholders to make major changes in order to close the deal, the Journal thinks the sale of VNU Business Media could fetch $1.2 billion. BtoB notes that "The only likely strategic buyer is Reed Elsevier, offered one industry observer, who added that Reed has also spent the past five years limiting its reliance on advertising dollars, so the move might be viewed as a step backward by shareholders. Reed owns Variety magazine."

I wouldn't be surprised if VNU Business Media attracted the serious attention of Bob Krakoff and his Blantyre Partners, even though I think Blantyre's focus has been on buying Advanstar. And I would be less surprised if VNU was sold off in large market-focused chunks, which would make elements of the company more palatable (and digestible) to both strategic and financial buyers.


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