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Global restructuring at Reed; to terminate JV with Infomedia in India

26-February-2009
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Global restructuring at Reed; to terminate JV with Infomedia in India

The global recession has hit Reed Business Information as well and the company is undergoing a restructuring process internationally, where it is revisiting its investment strategies in markets such as China, Japan, Korea and India.

Even as no official communication has been sent out yet, Reed Infomedia sources have informed that Reed Business Information was looking at changing its investment pattern and “may want to change from being stakeholder to a licensee partner”. When asked about what that would imply, the company source replied, “At present, Reed Infomedia’s Country Head reports to a Board of Directors that has members from both Reed Business and Infomedia. The Board would cease to exist, and if the transfer happens, the reporting line would be to the CEO of Infomedia.”

The source added, “There are five titles that the venture has in India at present, so these would be licensed to Infomedia from Reed for a stated licensing fee. The magazines would then seamlessly continue to operate as they are at present.”

The titles include ‘JCK India’, ‘Logistics Management’, ‘Twice’, ‘New Scientist’ and jewellery portal ‘Jckindia.com’.

But has Infomedia agreed to this? Infomedia Publishing CEO Lakshmi Narasimhan could not be contacted at the time of filing this report, while Reed Infomedia’s EVP and Country Head Suresh Ramakrishnan, too, was not available for comments. The Reed Infomedia source, however, added, “Officials of both the companies are in the process of finalising these details at present. It is a matter of another week or two before any conclusion is reached.”

Another point that the source stressed on was that the relationship between the two companies had been “healthy”. “The role for the two was cut out and there was never any overlap or room for disagreement. Infomedia was taking care of the backend and aspects such as government licensing; Reed brought the intelligence. It has been a good relation. It is the economic condition around that has led Reed Business to rethink its investment here, and that is all,” the source added.

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