FishbowlNY FishbowlDC LostRemote InsideMobileApps InsideSocialGames 10,000 Words TVNewser TVSpy AgencySpy PRNewser MediaJobsDaily UnBeige

Posts Tagged ‘Reed’

Riverdeep, Mergers High

The New York Times rightfully wonders just who on earth is this Barry O’Callaghan guy and why he’s not only bought up Houghton Mifflin but now Harcourt Education, thereby turning a small Irish software company into a giant American textbook publisher. Until last year, writes Eric Pfanner, Riverdeep was a relatively small software company, best known for educational programs like Reader Rabbit. If the Harcourt acquisition is completed, the company would vault past McGraw-Hill and Pearson to become the biggest textbook publisher in the United States.

So how did that happen, especially as Wolters Kluwer, Pearson and Reed have been involved in high-profile acquisitions and sales of their own? Analysts say private equity has been attracted to the educational business by steady cash flows, a relative lack of competition and expectations that spending will increase in the coming years as states like California step up textbook replacement programs – but big companies are anxious to sell because educational publishing has lagged behind areas like medical, legal and scientific publishing in the shift to digital distribution.

In comes a company like Riverdeep, where O’Callaghan sees an opportunity to bring into the future an industry long dominated by a handful of big players. “The idea of marrying content with technology holds strategic appeal,” said Drew Crum, an analyst at Stifel Nicolaus in Cleveland. But as the Sunday Business Post reports on what may prove to be the merger’s biggest stumbling block: although valued at $11 billion, the enlarged company has debts of $7.4 billion, according to analysts, and company president Jeremy Dickens admitted there would be an annual interest bill of $400 million. Hence the 11.8 percent stake in HM Riverdeep by Reed to inject some degree of stability. The question is, how far and how long?

Mediabistro Course

Food Writing

Food WritingStarting October 8, work with the food features editor at Everyday with Rachel Ray to develop your portfolio! Gabriella Gershenson will teach you how how to write a successful food piece, conceive story ideas, land assignments to get attention from foodies, and build authority in the food writing community. Register now!

Pearson Boss Falls Four in UK Media List

By way of the Bookseller, the Guardian reports that Pearson boss Marjorie Scardino has fallen four places in the Guardian’s “Media 100″, the newspaper’s power-list of the media world’s movers and shakers. She is the only book publisher in the list, Reed‘s Crispin Davis having dropped out in 2004. Placed at 41, Scardino is one below Guardian editor Alan Rusbridger, but 17 places below the Doctor Who actor David Tennant. Social networking website Facebook comes in at 100. Google chief executive Eric Schmidt – a new entry – is top of this year’s MediaGuardian 100 list.