Decision imminent on sale of Lloyd's List

Lloyd's of London, the insurance market, is to decide imminently whether to sell its profitable newspaper and magazine division, Peter Middleton, chief executive, said yesterday.

He said a "hurdle price" would be set below which Lloyd's of London would not be prepared to sell. "We are not going to sell at just any price," Mr Middleton said.

But he stressed that a final decision about the fate of Lloyd's of London Press had not yet been reached. "We have to see whether the market's interests are best served by keeping it or selling it," he said.

Mr Middleton would not speculate on how much a sale might raise. But analysts said pounds 75m would be a likely target price - roughly twice 1995 anticipated revenues.

Commenting on press speculation that he might stay on as chairman of LLP following a sale, Mr Middleton said the rumours were "inaccurate".

"David Rowland [Lloyd's chairman] and I have stated that we are not going to leave until we have done all that we have set out to do; and we will leave in an orderly fashion." He added that this was unlikely to be before 1997.

LLP, which includes the venerable Lloyd's List and another 30 specialist magazine titles, was a money-loser as recently as 1992. Following cost- cutting and the introduction of a new bonus scheme, pre-tax profits rose to pounds 4m in 1994 and are on course for about pounds 6m this year, Mr Middleton said.

Some efforts have been made to expand the electronic publishing activities, where there is scope for further growth. The strength of the Lloyd's List brand name is likely to attract offers from several publishers. Mr Middleton said several unsolicited expressions of interest had been received.

Reed Elsevier, the Anglo-Dutch media giant that is selling most of its consumer publishing interests, is a much- rumoured candidate to buy the LLP assets. A Reed spokesman declined to comment. He confirmed, however, that the company had received 25 offers for the company's Dutch newspaper interests.

The UK regional newspapers have also attracted considerable attention, the spokesman said. A sales memorandum will be sent out in the next week or so.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Recruitment Genius: Digital Optimisation Executive - Marketing

£30000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The UK's fastest growing, multi...

Recruitment Genius: Financial Reporting Manager

£70000 - £90000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Financial Reporting Manager i...

Recruitment Genius: Payments Operations Assistant

£23000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They win lots of awards for the...

Recruitment Genius: Telephone Debt Negotiator

£13500 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This nationwide enforcement com...

Day In a Page

On your feet! Spending at least two hours a day standing reduces the risk of heart attacks, cancer and diabetes, according to new research

On your feet!

Spending half the day standing 'reduces risk of heart attacks and cancer'
Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Reds baulk at Christian Benteke £32.5m release clause
With scores of surgeries closing, what hope is there for the David Cameron's promise of 5,000 more GPs and a 24/7 NHS?

The big NHS question

Why are there so few new GPs when so many want to study medicine?
Big knickers are back: Thongs ain't what they used to be

Thongs ain't what they used to be

Big knickers are back
Thurston Moore interview

Thurston Moore interview

On living in London, Sonic Youth and musical memoirs
In full bloom

In full bloom

Floral print womenswear
From leading man to Elephant Man, Bradley Cooper is terrific

From leading man to Elephant Man

Bradley Cooper is terrific
In this the person to restore our trust in the banks?

In this the person to restore our trust in the banks?

Dame Colette Bowe - interview
When do the creative juices dry up?

When do the creative juices dry up?

David Lodge thinks he knows
The 'Cher moment' happening across fashion just now

Fashion's Cher moment

Ageing beauty will always be more classy than all that booty
Thousands of teenage girls enduring debilitating illnesses after routine school cancer vaccination

Health fears over school cancer jab

Shock new Freedom of Information figures show how thousands of girls have suffered serious symptoms after routine HPV injection
Fifa President Sepp Blatter warns his opponents: 'I forgive everyone, but I don't forget'

'I forgive everyone, but I don't forget'

Fifa president Sepp Blatter issues defiant warning to opponents
Extreme summer temperatures will soon cause deaths of up to 1,700 more Britons a year, says government report

Weather warning

Extreme summer temperatures will soon cause deaths of up to 1,700 more Britons a year, says government report
LSD: Speaking to volunteer users of the drug as trials get underway to see if it cures depression and addiction

High hopes for LSD

Meet the volunteer users helping to see if it cures depression and addiction
German soldier who died fighting for UK in Battle of Waterloo should be removed from museum display and given dignified funeral, say historians

Saving Private Brandt

A Belgian museum's display of the skeleton of a soldier killed at Waterloo prompts calls for him to be given a dignified funeral