DLJ Buys 15 Thomson Med Pubs For $135M –

In an effort to trim assets it deems as non core, Thomson Corp. subsidiary Thomson Scientific & Healthcare has sold its portfolio of health care magazines, to DLJ Merchant Banking portfolio company Advanstar for $135 million.

Additional terms of the deal were not disclosed, but DLJ pros did acknowledge Credit Suisse First Boston advised the buyer, while Banc of America Securities advised Thomson. DLJ Merchant Banking used its third fund for the deal, a $5.3 billion vehicle that held a final close in 2000.

“We believe the increased use of drugs to treat illnesses will be a growth trend, and our goal was to take advantage of that and buy a major company in that business,” said Bob Krakoff, CEO and chairman of Advanstar. “We accomplished that by buying this portfolio.”

This specific group of publications has been on the block for the better part of two years. “Publications come on the market from time to time, but rarely does a market leader like this pop up,” Krakoff said.

The 15 publications earned a combined $87 million in 2002, but do not fit into any categories that define the Thomson Scientific & Healthcare business. According to the source, this gave the firm another reason for the sell-off.

The pubs purchased from Thomson are available online and in print, and are targeted at nursing, dental and veterinary professionals. The target portfolio is comprised of three groups, the Montvale, N.J.-based Medical Economics Communications Group, the Dental Products Report Group, based in Northfield, Ill., and Veterinary Healthcare Communications Group, located in Lenexa, Kans. In total, the portfolio includes 15 magazines, one veterinary tradeshow, conferences and other media events.

The pubs already residing in the Advanstar portfolio earned the DLJ platform company $307 million in 2002, and are responsible for publishing 100 business magazines and directories and 77 tradeshows and conferences, in various sectors such as: automotive, digital media, manufacturing and travel & hospitality. The company has over 1,200 employees.

The deal is expected to close by late October and is subject to Hart-Scott-Rodino. “After that we’ll come up with a plan,” said Krakoff, in reference to whether or not the add-on will undergo management and operational changes.

Thomson Corp. owns Thomson Financial, the parent company of Buyouts Newsletter and sister publications Private Equity Week and Venture Capital Journal.