Market reaction prompts Wolters Kluwer speculation

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Dutch publisher Wolters Kluwer may be forced to consider a merger after &pound;1.5bn was wiped off its market capitalisation following the resignation of newly appointed chairman Caspar van Kempen amid controversy over its Internet strategy. The management crisis was compounded by forecasts of flat profits for 2000 and 2001. Shares in the Amsterdam-listed professional publisher plunged 26%, closing at &pound;16 last Friday.</p><p>
"Mr Kempen thought that they should be more aggressive and the board thought they shouldn't force customers onto the Internet before they were ready," said Da...

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