Publisher Reed Elsevier to rebrand as RELX, rejig corporate structure

FTSE 100 publisher Reed Elsevier yesterday announced dramatic plans to rename itself RELX and simplify its structure into one business unit, making it more transparent for investors, CITY AM reported.

Reed, Europe's largest media group, had in recent years focused on its fast-growing risk and events units. The company's transformation had seen it shares surge over 150 per cent since 2012.

The publisher yesterday reported 2014 results broadly conforming to forecasts, projected  further growth for 2015 and announced plans for a £500 million share buyback.

Its shares retreated, however, after analysts questioned whether the solid performance would be enough to sustain the strong share price momentum and others noted that the buyback was down on last year's £600 million.

''We are now extending our efforts to modernise and simplify the company to our corporate structure, our share listings, and our corporate entity names,'' said chief executive Erik Engstrom, announcing the new RELX name will become effective from 1 July.

''We are announcing a set of changes that represent a significant simplification without impacting the economic interests of our shareholders.''

Meanwhile, London Evening Standard reported that the company which could trace its roots back 120 years to a newsprint manufacturing plant in Kent, provided content and analysis for professionals including doctors, lawyers, scientists and insurers.

It was also the world's largest exhibitions business, hosting events like the Sao Paulo Motor Show, and worked across several areas including developing black-box technology for insurers.

After facing calls for a break-up in the past due to its sprawling structure, the Anglo-Dutch group was now combining all assets below its two parent companies into a single new group entity, Relx Group.

According to Ian Whittaker, analyst at Liberum Capital, the move would make Reed easier to understand and, therefore, should help the investment case.

According to Reed Elsevier chief executive Erik Engstrom,the company was now extending its efforts to modernise and simplify to its corporate structure, its share listings, and its corporate entity names.

He added the company was announcing a set of changes that represented a significant simplification without impacting the economic interests of shareholders.