Reed exits arms business

Reed exits arms business

<p>Reed Elsevier has bowed to author pressure and vowed to rid itself of its arms exhibitions business. The STM publishing group said that it would withdraw from the defence exhibitions sector after concluding that its &quot;defence shows are no longer compatible with Reed Elsevier&#39;s position as a leading publisher of scientific, medical, legal and business content&quot;.<br /> <br /> Sir Crispin Davis, chief executive officer of Reed Elsevier, said: &quot;Our defence shows are quality businesses which have performed well in recent years. Nonetheless, it has become increasingly clear that growing numbers of important customers and authors have very real concerns about our involvement in the defence exhibitions business.</p><p>&quot;We have listened closely to these concerns and this has led us to conclude that the defence shows are no longer compatible with Reed Elsevier&#39;s position as a leading publisher of scientific, medical, legal and business content.&quot; <br /> <br /> Reed has faced a clamour of protest from authors and academics about the controversial shows, most notably from editors and contributors to its own journal The Lancet. In 2006, a group of leading authors, including Nick Hornby, Ian McEwan, and Will Self, attending the London Book Fair called on Reed to end its involvement in the arms business. Investors have also questioned Reed&#39;s interest in this sector.</p><p>Reed said the portfolio of five shows represented around 0.5% of group annual turnover. Reed Elsevier said it would complete its withdrawal during the second half of 2007, &quot;subject to honouring its obligations to partners, customers and other key stakeholders&quot;.</p>