Pearson seeks buyer for medical publishing arm
Thursday 17 July 1997
The move could raise around pounds 100m for Pearson, and would be the first disposal of a subsidiary since Ms Scardino's arrival at the beginning of the year. The money generated would be enough to cover the losses from the unauthorised discounting scandal at Penguin USA.
The medical publishing division, part of Pearson Professional, consists of two companies - Churchill Livingstone and Churchill Communications - and includes such publications as Gray's Anatomy. It is understood that Pearson has been canvassing various potential buyers. The company was available for comment yesterday.
Meg Geldens, media analyst at Merill Lynch, said likely suitors would include Mosby, Reed Elsevier, WB Saunders, and Wolters Kluwer. She estimated that Pearson's medical division generated around pounds 50m in annual sales.
Ms Geldens added: "I think it's a significant disposal because it's a real gem that's been with Pearson for a long time. However, it's probably too small to make the City happy."
Churchill Livingstone is the UK's largest medical publisher, and specialises in books, journals, CD-Roms and conferences. It has operations in the US and the UK. Churchill Communications deals in medical communications for pharmaceutical companies, and operates in Japan, the US and Europe.
Although some analysts expressed surprise that Pearson was contemplating the disposal of some of its core publishing interests, others said it made sense, as the medical division could not compete with giants such as Wolters Kluwer, which has bought six medical publishers in the last year alone.
Churchill Communications was also badly affected by the Kobe earthquake in February 1995, and ran up a pounds 7m loss that year, which in turn reduced Pearson Professional's margin from 11.6 per cent to 6.5 per cent.
Since Ms Scardino joined, Pearson has sold its 10 per cent interest in the Hong Kong television broadcaster, TVB, for pounds 111m; its 49 per cent stake in Troll Communications, a Canadian bookselling club, for pounds 55m; and more than two-thirds of its investment in Flextech for pounds 24m.
Pearson has also announced its intention to sell residual stakes in BSkyB and SES, the Luxembourg-based Astra satellite owner. The group indicated earlier this year that it would put up for sale its 50 per cent stake in Lazard Brothers, the merchant bank, but this is likely to take much longer. It is thought that Pearson may also be contemplating selling its 5 per cent stake in the Spanish government's digital television vehicle.
Ms Scardino has come under pressure to reorganise the business since she arrived earlier this year. City disappointment that she has not revolutionised the group so far has depressed the share price over the past few months.
NFL fans were so loud during a match that their celebrations registered as a minor earthquake
Tyre firm aimed to show how their tyres would perform in ‘unexpected’ conditions
filmAs she returns to musicals in Black Nativity, the Oscar winner opens up about coming back from tragedy
TelevisionThe enduring fascination with the life of the aristocrat fugitive continues in an ITV drama. We hear from its stars
North Korea: Kim Jong Un 'sacks powerful uncle and has his aides executed'
Nigella Lawson admits taking cocaine twice but says claims she was an addict are 'ridiculous'
Is this the scariest advert ever? Japanese tyre commercial comes with its own disclaimer and health warning
Lee Rigby murder trial: Police reveal dramatic new images and footage of the moments two suspects are arrested
Food poverty in UK has reached level of 'public health emergency', warn experts
- 1 John Williams' Stoner wins Waterstones Book of the Year
- 2 The hardwired difference between male and female brains could explain why men are 'better at map reading'
- 3 Is this the scariest advert ever? Japanese tyre commercial comes with its own disclaimer and health warning
- 4 Food poverty in UK has reached level of 'public health emergency', warn experts
- 5 I’m sure Kate Moss doesn't care about posing for Playboy. But I do
iJobs Money & Business
£600 - £700 per day: Harrington Starr: My client is looking for for someone to...
£65000 - £80000 per annum + Bonus + Package : Harrington Starr: We are looking...
£340 - £450 per day: Cornwallis Elt : BUSINESS SUPPORT ANALYST- PMO, REPORTIN...
£50000 - £90000 per annum + Benefits + Bonus: Harrington Starr: Senior Core Ja...