Reed Elsevier (2007)

Notes to the combined financial statements [extract]

  1. Post balance sheet events [extract]

On 18 January 2008, Reed Elsevier PLC paid a special distribution of 82.0p per ordinary share and Reed Elsevier NV paid a special distribution of €1.767 per ordinary share, from the net proceeds of the disposal of Harcourt Education. The aggregate special distribution, announced on 12 December 2007, of 2,013m was recognised when paid in January 2008.

The special distributions were accompanied by a consolidation of the ordinary share capital of Reed Elsevier PLC and Reed Elsevier NV on the basis of 58 new ordinary shares for every 67 existing ordinary shares, being the ratio of the aggregate special distribution to the combined market capitalisation of Reed Elsevier PLC and Reed Elsevier NV (excluding the 5.8% indirect equity interest in Reed Elsevier NV held by Reed Elsevier PLC) as at the date of the announcement of the special distributions.

On 30 January 2008 the sale of Harcourt Assessment and the remaining Harcourt International businesses, first announced in May 2007, completed following receipt of regulatory clearance in the United States. Proceeds received on disposal were 330m.

On 20 February 2008, Reed Elsevier approved a plan to divest Reed Business Information. In the year to 31 December 2007, Reed Business Information reported revenues of 906m, operating profits of 89m and adjusted operating profits of 119m. On 20 February 2008, Reed Elsevier entered into a definitive merger agreement with ChoicePoint, Inc to acquire the company for cash. Taking into account ChoicePoint’s estimated net debt of $0.6bn, the total value of the transaction is $4.1bn. The ChoicePoint board will convene a meeting of ChoicePoint shareholders to approve the merger and is unanimous in its recommendation of the merger. The merger is subject to customary regulatory approvals and is expected to be completed later in the year. The transaction will be financed initially through committed new bank facilities, to be later refinanced through the issuance of term debt.

ChoicePoint provides unique information and analytics to support underwriting decisions within the property and casualty insurance sector; screening and authentication services for employment, real estate leasing and customer enrolment; and public information solutions primarily to banking, professional services and government customers. In 2007 ChoicePoint reported revenues of 491m, operating income (before goodwill and asset write downs) of 112m and earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation of 144m.

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