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More on Blackwells in the Daily Telegraph

Of possible interest.


Blackwell investors to press for sale By Andrew Cave, Associate City
Editor (Filed: 25/01/2002)

INDIVIDUAL Blackwell Publishers shareholders, who could hold the key to
the future of the academic books and journals company, are to form an
action group to pressure the management to consider a trade sale.

The group, which expects to hold its first meeting next month, includes
James Blackwell, one of the two sons of rebel Blackwell Publishers
shareholder Toby Blackwell.

It is also understood to include Martin Wilkinson, a former Blackwell
Publishers finance director.

The group aims to put pressure on Blackwell Publishers, which is
recruiting financial advisers but has ruled out a trade sale.

Publishers including John Wiley & Sons and Taylor & Francis are weighing
up bids for the company.

Fifty individuals outside the Blackwell companies own Blackwell Publishers
shares but only 13 have voting shares, which could be used in a proxy vote
to unseat the board.

A simple majority of the voting shares would be sufficient to install new
management to negotiate a sale.

The 13 voting shareholders, including James Blackwell, who has 5.3pc,
account for 13pc of the voting shares.

Toby Blackwell has 30.1pc, while Blackwell Ltd, the family bookseller that
is 54pc-owned by Toby Blackwell, has 9.3pc.

However, Toby Blackwell's nephew, Nigel Blackwell, chairman of Blackwell
Publishers, has 42.3pc and wants to keep the company independent.

The remaining 5.3pc of the shares are held by Toby Blackwell's other son,
Philip Blackwell, chief executive of Blackwell Ltd.

The development came as Blackwell Ltd, which has 60 bookshops and �200m
revenues, held its first board meeting since the family feud exploded
earlier this month.

It said in a statement: "It would be inappropriate for the board of
Blackwell Ltd to take a hypothetical position at this stage as the debate
on capital structure has only just begun.

"But we welcome the strategy of the Blackwell Publishing board to deliver
long-term value of our investment."

Toby Blackwell said: "My view remains unchanged that a trade sale is going
to provide the best value for shareholders.

"In the event of a firm bid being submitted for Blackwell Publishers, this
would have to be considered by the board of Blackwell Ltd."