Thursday, April 10, 2008

BPN 1064 Another Dutch educational Publisher for sale

ThiemeMeulenhoff, the educational division of the Dutch newspaper and book conglomerate PCM, is for sale. That was a surprise announcement at the presentation of the annual report.

ThiemeMeulenhoff had a turn-over of 64,5 mln euro, growing 5 percent. The division is good for 10 percent of the total turnover of PCM Publishers. The division employs 255 people. PCM withdraws from the educational market as the company expects more investment, while ThiemeMeulenhoff does not have the scale to justify these investments.

PCM Publishers limits its activities to newspapers and books for the coming years. It will use the money its gets for ThiemeMeulenhoff to consolidate its position after the Apax affair, which left the company with a great loss. It is funny to see this decision of withdwawel from the educational field by the new board, after that the Apax dominated board had announced to sell off the book division and stick to the educational division.

So ThiemeMeulenhoff is one of the latest victim in the educational field. Just a month ago Sdu announced to sell its educational activities with a turn-over of 5 mln euro. Earlier VNU, Wolters Kluwer and Reed Elsevier sold their educational divisions.
Now only the division VBK Educatief with 150 employees is part of a newspaper and book conglomerate, NDC/VBK. Some time ago PCM and NDC/VBK were in merger talks, but they broke off.

The Dutch educational publishing landscape has been shaken dramatically over the past years. VNU sold its educational division Malmberg to a private equity fund, which found a home for the company with the Finnish publisher Sanoma. Wolters Kluwer sold its educational division to Bridgepoint Ltd. Also Reed Elsevier sold off its educational division. So now the consolidation race starts affect the smaller educational publishers. It is unclear what company will be eager to acquire the educational activities of Sdu. Will ThiemeMeulenhoff be acquired by Sanoma or NDC/VBK?

The changing of the landscape has been going on for some time. VNU, Wolters Kluwer and Reed Elsevier disposed of their educational divissions to specialise in resp. market data, legal and health and scientific and business information. But Sdu and ThiemeMeulenhoff dispose of their educational activities now that the Dutch government has decided to organise the free book acquisition for secondary schools.

Update 12/4/2008: NDC/VBK has shown interest in acquiring the educational division of PCM. Synergy between the two educational divisions would be an argument. The turn-over of the primary school sector rose 30 percent for ThiemeMeulenhoff. In the vocational sector the turn-over rose 17 percent.

Update: PCM Publishers, the Dutch newspaper and book holding, has sold its educational division Thieme Meulenhoff to NDC/VBK for an undisclosed sum. Thieme had a turn-over of 65 million euro in 2007; this was 10 per cent of PCM’s turn-over.

The newspaper and book holding NDC/VBK will combine Thieme Meulenhoff with its own educational division, Veen Bosch & Keuning-educational. The new combination will have 400 employees and an annual turn-over 100 million euro. Together with Malmberg Educational and Noordhoff Publishers the combination Veen Bosch & Keuning-educational will belong to the top three educational publishers in the Netherlands.

Blog Posting Number: 1064

Tags: education,

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