Springer in deal to buy Wolters Kluwer pharma-related journals

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Wolters Kluwer reached an agreement to sell its pharma-related marketing and publishing services unit to Springer Science+Business Media, the firms said today.

The sale represents about 35% of Wolters Kluwer's pharma-related assets, based on 2010 revenue, Wolters Kluwer said, and is subject to regulatory approvals. Marketing and publishing services (MPS) employs 450 people globally.

In a statement, Derk Haank, CEO of Springer Science+Business Media, called the MPS content a “perfect complement to our existing portfolio” and said it will allow Springer to expand its science, technology and medicine operations “not only in the Americas and Asia-Pacific regions, but also in parts of Europe where we do not yet have offices.”

MPS has main offices in New Zealand, the UK, US and Italy. Its Adis unit publishes 24 scientific journals and newsletters aimed at those working in drug therapy and pharmacology. The VisionCare Group publishes another  six eye-related publications. MPS also houses the Adis R&D Insight drug development database and the inScience Communications medical communications agency, among other services sold to pharma and academic customers.

In July Wolters Kluwer announced its plan to divest the Pharma Solutions business unit as part of a strategic decision to focus on point-of-care tools and professional content. The firm is in separate discussions for the analytics part of the unit, including its two main brands—inThought  pipeline analysis tools and the Source pharmaceutical online dashboard.

“We are currently in the discussion phase on this transaction and until a deal is complete, healthcare analytics will remain part of Wolters Kluwer Health & Pharma Solutions,” said Robert Dekker, VP of communications for that division.

In 2010 the Health & Pharma Solutions division of Wolters Kluwer, which includes Pharma Solutions, generated €816 million ($1.1 billion) in total revenue, including both pharma and non-pharma sales.

Wolters Kluwer said it will use proceeds from the sale to reduce debt levels, in line with previous objectives.

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