Three Bidders Left For Reed Business; Former Publisher of WSJ Involved In One Group

We noted earlier today that the Reed Business Information auction is being sweetened again, with parent Reed Elsevier (NYSE: RUK) planning to to offer a bigger vendor loan to finance the struggling sell-off. Now we have learned that there are three parties left in the auction, and interestingly, one group is working with former Publisher of the Wall Street Journal Gordon Crovitz. Crovitz is working with the consortium of Apollo Management, the PE firm, and Strauss Zelnick’s PE firm Zelnick Media. The other two parties left in the auction are Bain Capital (which has taken on Helen Alexander, the former CEO of The Economist Group as an advisor on the deal) and a group led by TPG and DLJ Merchant Banking Partners.
As has been reported before, Reed had been offering vendor financing from its own coffers to $330 million, besides helping bring in other banks for staple financing, and now it may pony up more its own money.
RBI’s much watched auction and other business media deals will be discussed tomorrow at our second Future of Business Media conference in NYC. I will be moderating a deals panel, and will be touching on this and other deals (or rather the lack of them) in the sector.