Thomson puts med ed biz on the block

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Thomson Medical Education (TME), whose three businesses comprise the world's largest med ed organization,will be sold.

Thomson announced the sale last week as it posted second-quarter earnings of $171 million, down from $301 million a year earlier when there was a big one-time tax gain, and revenues of $2.1 billion, up 7% from the prior-year period. Thomson also introduced a “business optimization” plan designed to save about $300 million from the holding company's costs by 2009.

TME, part of the Scientific and Healthcare group, accounted for $97 million in revenue last year and will be shed in an ongoing sale of minor businesses.

“We found that [TME] doesn't fit well with our long-term growth strategy” of providing applications and services to healthcare professionals, insurers and employers, said Kyle Christensen, a spokesman.

The decision to divest TME follows the departure of top executives Jeff MacDonald, former head of the med ed unit, and Marty Cearnal, its chief strategy officer. MacDonald was replaced by Dik Barsamian, division EVP, earlier this year.

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