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John Wiley & Sons Inc. Message Board

  • JOSEPH_COUPET JOSEPH_COUPET Mar 3, 1998 7:56 AM Flag

    Take over

    On Sunday March 1,1998, your company was mentioned on the Consuelo's morning show and again on CNBC, by a commentator the following day (Monday, March 2, 1998), as a takeover target. Is this a strong possibility?

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    • As you all know the current shuffling in the publishing industry has raised questions re: the future of those few
      independents left out there (Springer Verlag, Wiley, McGraw-Hill, and CRC/Lewis and Routledge if you want to include houses owned by
      VC's), and who will buy who when...at this point most of the bite-sized firms have already been swallowed whole (the German VCH by
      Wiley, Thomson's Chapman & Hall, Van Nostrand Reinhold and Thomson Computer Press, Wiley unloaded their law-division on Reed
      Elsevier, Taylor Francis took Garland, the Mosby stuff has been around the block so many times it's got road burn, etc, etc)...what
      this leaves are houses like Prentice-Hall, AWL, the million and one splinters of Harper's, McGraw-Hill, S&S, Macmillan and Wiley,
      that are too big to be swallowed whole by companies like Bertelsman and Reed Elsevier/Wolters Kluwers who are drained of finances
      by recent acquisitions, a crappy 1997 and a sluggish book market overall, but at the same time are far too valuable as a whole
      to break up into saleable chunks...

      So what all this means, to me anyway, is that no, Wiley as a pulishing house will not be sold in the next year or so, but
      rather chunks of it (like their law division was) will definitly be traded to other houses for lists more in line with the niche
      Wiley has decided to fight for. For example, the law division was in effect traded to Wolters Kluwer to raise money to acquire Van
      Nostrand Reinhold, which Thomson unloaded to raise cash to purchase half a dozen Hong Kong based financial information providers (FT
      Law and Tax, Federal Publications, etc.)...it's just a big game of shuffleboard which in the end may really only affect which
      way across the Atlantic the money flows...

 
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