Elsevier Business Information of the Netherlands is one of the front runners in the race to buy Miller Freeman Inc of America. It is one of six companies bidding to be the owner of Bicycle Retailer and Industry News, Outdoor Business and many other trade titles and business-to-business exhibitions produced by the Miller Freeman Sports Group, a division of Miller Freeman Inc.
In December 1999 United News & Media, the UK parent company of Miller Freeman, said it planned to sell several of its magazines and trade shows including those comprising the Miller Freeman Sports Group.
At the time, Andrew Gaffney, publishing director for Sports Group offices in New York and Santa Fe said: "We absolutely see the Sports Group staying together. Its very much going to be business as usual."
Earlier today Virginia Stefan, Vice President, Corporate Communications, Miller Freeman Inc., told BikeBiz: "There are more than 30 companies interested in buying Miller Freeman Inc. [Its] for sale as a single platform we are not selling properties on an individual basis. We have just released the Offering Memorandum to prospective buyers and so it will be a couple of weeks before we start receiving actual offers. We expect to have a final decision on the buyer around the end of June.
The Miller Freeman Sports Group stable of trade mags and expos includes Bicycle Retailer, Fly-Fishing Retailer, Golf Retailer, Health & Fitness Business, Interbike Buyer, Sporting Goods Business, Outdoor Retailer and Wintersport Business.
Miller Freeman was aquired by United News & Media plc in 1985 and has annual revenues in excess of £2 billion, It operates other publishing divisions as well as the Outdoor Sports Group. Miller Freeman is active in more than 50 market sectors and has 5000 employees in 29 countries.
In this country, Miller Freeman owns the UK version of Sporting Goods Business (SGB) but it failed last year to get a3 off the ground. This was to be a big budget outdoor sport trade expo but few brands signed up for it and it was shelved.
United News & Media employs over 12 000 people worldwide and operates across three divisions: business services, broadcasting and entertainment, and consumer publishing.
On 17th December 1999, United News & Media announced a new strategy for Miller Freeman saying it would concentrate its investment in building up its core markets, mainly high-tech and medical, to fully capitalise on the exceptional online growth potential of those businesses.
Non-core activities of Miller Freeman were to be sold, including the Outdoor Sports Group.
Most of these businesses are highly profitable and many are market leaders. United expects there to be very healthy interest in these businesses from buyers who are better placed to exploit the full potential of these markets, said a press release from the time.
A sale of the Outdoor Sports Group or just the bike mag and show to Elsevier would make the Dutch publisher of BikeEurope and other trade titles the most dominant force in global bicycle B2B publishing and expos.