Thursday, August 28, 2008

Update: ENR to buy Building Design + Construction?

Last month, we wrote that McGraw-Hill (which publishes Engineering News-Record and Architectural Record, among many other publications) is interested in buying Reed Business Information (which publishes Building Design + Construction, among many other publications).

According to a Folio magazine article published earlier today, Reed Elsevier is said to have allowed first-round bidders for RBI to resubmit their bids last week. The re-submission, which was not officially the second round, was allowed because certain bidders "felt they were not provided with enough information" on RBI during the first round, according to a Reuters report.

The Folio magazine article said that it was not clear what that information was, nor which group resubmitted bids. A Reed Elsevier spokesperson could not be reached for comment. According to the Reuters report, the new bids came in "slightly lower" than the first round.

The Folio article quotes a New York investment banking firm partner as saying that allowing resubmitted bids is a bit "unusual."

At this point, McGraw-Hill remains in the game, but it will have to make its way through several heavy hitters to close the deal.

UBS, the bank that's organizing the RBI sale, has invited more than 10 groups, including McGraw-Hill and private equity firm Bain Capital, to submit second round offers, according to the Folio article.

Reed Elsevier expects to divest itself of RBI in the second half of 2008, according to the article. The value of the first round bids was said to have ranged between $1.87 billion and $2.33 billion.


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