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Publishers Weekly up for sale … again

Publishers Weekly announced this morning that it’s being put up for sale. Reed Business Information, which publishes over 400 trade publications including PW, Library Journal, and School Library Journal, intends to sell most of its properties in order to escape the uncertain advertising market.

This is the second time that parent company Reed Elsevier has tried to rid itself of RBI: the company put the group up for sale last year, but later took it off the market due to depressed demand. At the time, The New York Times reported on potential buyers for RBI and its publications:

Analysts estimated that Reed Business Information would fetch at least $2 billion. Potential buyers could include Apax Partners, a British private equity group whose Incisive Media division bought American Lawyer Media last year for $630 million.

Some buyers may be more interested in specific titles.

I think they’ll come out as a group first, and then depending upon market reaction, they may have to bundle some of the publications, said Michael Parker, a managing director of the merger and acquisition advisory firm AdMedia Partners.

The division’s primary rival, Nielsen Business Media, has also been the subject of sale speculation, although the company denied the rumors.