Evercore brought in to sell failing BusinessWeek

MCGRAW-HILL has hired boutique investment bank Evercore Partners to find it a buyer for its loss-making BusinessWeek magazine, according to sources close to the company.<br /><br />BusinessWeek occupies a niche that includes titles such as Forbes, Fortune and Money. Along with its peers, it has suffered a precipitous drop in ad revenue, in part because of the recession.<br /><br />On a more fundamental level, subscriptions are falling as the wealth of free business news online steals market share.<br /><br />&ldquo;The sale of BusinessWeek would be a positive for McGraw Hill,&rdquo; said Piper Jaffray analyst Peter Appert. &ldquo;It eliminates a money-losing business, it removes a management distraction and it demonstrates to investors that the company is taking a more proactive stance in trying to optimise its portfolio.&rdquo;<br /><br />Appert estimates that the publication loses about $10m (&pound;6.1m) to $20m a year on about $130m in revenue.<br /><br />The difficulty facing McGraw, and other print publication owners, is finding buyers, with print media deals scarcer than ever.<br /><br />&nbsp;&ldquo;My estimate is somebody&rsquo;s going to pay zero for it,&rdquo; Appert said.<br /><br />Evercore declined to comment on reports of the search for a buyer, but said that it was &ldquo;exploring strategic options&rdquo; for BusinessWeek.<br /><br /><strong>ROGER ALTMAN CHAIRMAN<br />EVERCORE PARTNERS</strong><br />Established in 1996, Evercore Partners is an investment banking boutique which provides advisory services to multinational corporations and financial sponsors on mergers, acquisitions, divestitures, restructurings and other strategic corporate transactions. Earlier this week, data from Dealogic showed that boutique investment firms such as Evercore have grown their shares of advisory fees as companies increasingly turn to smaller firms, with less of a conflict of interest than can be found at large investment banks. Boutique banks have accounted for a record 14 per cent of global merger and acquisition fees so far this year.