Erik Engstrom, the new chief executive at Ftse 100 media group Reed Elsevier, is to launch a review of the business that could lead to asset sale
It is understood that the review will last for at least six months. Mr Engstrom was installed last week, replacing Ian Smith, who left after just eight months at the helm.
A media source said that any divestments were unlikely to take place until the market had improved. He added: "Erik has carte blanche. He's never going to be more powerful – so why not review the business?"
Reed tried to sell its business information unit, including magazines Estates Gazette and Variety, last year, but did not get its target price. The company has overhauled many of its trade titles since, closing Contract Journal, the construction magazine, last week.
Mr Smith decided against putting the division back up for sale. However, he was not considered the right man to lead