January 20, 2012
Even West Is Shedding West: Sounds like TR Legal's law school publishing business "may" end up being for sale
Yesterday, West authors received the following message from Chris Parton, General Manager, Law School Publishing, and Pamela Siege Chandler, Senior Director, Law School Publishing:
A Message to our Authors about Changes at West
Earlier today, Thomson Reuters announced that it is exploring strategic options for its Law School Publishing (LSP) business consisting of the West Academic Publishing, Foundation Press and Gilbert imprints, including a potential sale. Although LSP is an outstanding business with a long history of serving law school faculty and students, the company has made the decision to focus on growing from its core of subscription-based research and reference products, workflow solutions, software and services.
We are just beginning the divestiture process and do not expect any potential sale to be completed until the second quarter of 2012 at the earliest. In the meantime, we will operate our business as usual. We will continue to deliver our products and honor our ongoing commitment to providing the quality and service you have come to expect throughout the business’s long and successful history.
Since 1908, our Law School Publishing business has been a successful part of what is now Thomson Reuters, Legal. It has market-leading brands, renowned authors and committed employees. Our course materials have played an important role in educating lawyers for over 100 years and our authors are a critical part of that mission. Should the company decide to move forward with the divestiture, Thomson Reuters will seek a buyer who values our author relationships, will be a good fit for the business and will position it for continued success for many years to come. To that end, the West imprint will transition with West-branded titles under a licensing agreement with the buyer. Also, be assured that the people in the business with whom you currently deal will continue to work with you and remain committed to our mutual success.
We understand that you, as our author, have a stake in a potential sale of our Law School Publishing business. We are committed to being as transparent with you as possible throughout this process and welcome the opportunity to answer any questions you might have.
Any coincidence that Thomson Reuters gives West authors a heads-up that it "may" try (read will damn well do its best) to divest its Law School Publishing assets just ahead of the Company's Feb. 9th year-end financial report announcement? New TRI CEO and newest member of TRI's Board of Directors Jim Smith will start making his mark at this presentation. It looks like one of Smith's first moves will be shedding some of West. Link to the Feb. 9th webcast (8:30 a.m. ET) is available here. Could be interesting. Smith can start putting his stamp on TRI by ending the happy talk (read denial) of the Company's prospects that was typical of past financial reporting sessions. [JH]