Thursday, July 29, 2004

WH Smith to sell Hodder Headline

WH Smith will sell or demerge Hodder Headline, its publishing business, by the end of this year.

The Times speculates on the companies who might be interested in buying one of Britain's leading publishing houses: 

Cinven, the private equity firm that was stalking WH Smith earlier in the year, is understood to have made an approach for Hodder Headline...which carries a price tag of about £230 million. The investment firm, which is no longer pursuing WH Smith, will compete for the business with Lagardère, the French conglomerate, and Pearson, the media company. Simon & Schuster and HarperCollins, the publishing firms, are also thought to be interested.
Cinven is one of the world’s largest private equity firms and owns companies such as Gala Group, the casino operator, and Fitness First, the health club chain.

Incidentally, the Hodder website has very clear guidelines for unsolicited submissions.  Headline, a more 'popular' imprint, also has guidelines.

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