08 July 2009. Reed Business Information (RBI), a Reed Elsevier company, announced today that it had agreed in principle to transfer its travel publishing division, to the entrepreneur Clive Jacobs. The division publishes Travel Weekly (UK), Travolution, Gazetteers.com and associated online services and events. The agreed consideration is not being disclosed.
The deal was initiated by Simon Ferguson who left RBI in March 2009 after six years as Publishing Director of the UK travel portfolio. He will become Chief Executive of the newly-acquired business, TW Group Ltd.
Clive Jacobs was the founder of Holiday Autos, which was acquired by lastminute.com in 2003. He said today: "I am delighted to have the opportunity to acquire the leading publications and information services in the travel and tourism industry, and look forward to helping Simon and his successful team build on the group's market leadership."
Jane Burgess, Divisional Managing Director at RBI said: "The travel portfolio has been a valued part of RBI, but we recognise that, under Clive's independent ownership, the team will be able to integrate completely into the industry they serve. Clive, Simon and their management at TW Group Ltd are committed to our talented people and will provide long-term investment and a secure future for the team and brands – on this basis we were pleased to take forward the deal when we were approached."
Mr Jacobs said his new management team at TW Group Ltd would include three highly experienced non-executive directors: Michael East, travel industry management consultant and entrepreneur; Colin Morrison, who has managed international media businesses at RBI, NatMags, Future and Emap; and Ian Findlay, M&A Director at Ariadne Capital and former Director of Corporate Development at Emap plc, and Development Director at RBI.
Clive Jacobs was the founder of Holiday Autos and joined the board of lastminute.com in 2003. Since leaving lastminute.com in 2004, he has been a shareholder and chairman of various online businesses and, in 2008, also became the owner of the Michelin starred New Angel in Dartmouth where John Burton Race is chef.
Clive's travel and tourism accolades include the World Travel Market Global Award for an outstanding contribution to the industry (1997) and induction into the Travel Industry Hall of Fame (2003). His first jobs on leaving school at 16 included working on building sites and on the Selfridges fish counter. Last year he became the first chairman of Visit Devon (promoting the county in which he lives). Clive is also a Patron of the Teenage Cancer Trust.
Simon Ferguson joined Reed Business Information from Dennis Publishing in 1998. He was Publishing Director of the TW Group and other publications until he left RBI in March 2009. He was responsible for the relaunch of Travel Weekly and Gazetteers.com, and for the launch of Travolution.
The TW Group comprises: Travel Weekly (UK), the industry's market leading print and online brand; Gazetteers.com, the online service for travel agents; and Travolution, targeting the dynamic online travel sector.
The TW Group reaches an aggregate audience of 30,000 professional readers in the travel and tourism industry and its websites generate over 5 million page views per month. The TW Group also organises the industry's leading events, including the Globe Travel Awards, the Travel Weekly Agent Excellence Awards, and the Travolution Summit and Awards.
Reed Business Information UK brings over 100 market leading brands to an audience of 30 million decision makers worldwide through its multi-platform media of web products, magazines, exhibitions, conferences and industry awards.
RBI is part of Reed Elsevier, a FTSE-100 company.