According to the article: “Thomson, which has been hit by competition from the web and reduced spending by financial clients, is expected to achieve earnings of £25m this year and could change hands for £100m.”
Given that Thomson is viewed by many as the third player in the crowded U.K. directory market, it is unclear who will step in as a buyer. Over the years Thomson has received sporadic support from its financial owners leading to a high turnover rate of its executive management team as well as uneven performance in the U.K. market.
When British Telecom was deciding to re-enter the market as a directory publisher, it was widely speculated that the company was considering purchasing Thomson as a means of competing more effectively with Yell by leveraging a known brand and an established operating unit in the marketplace. Given the relative affordability of the Thomson property, BT Directories could be one of the likely suitors along with other private equity groups.
Seat also announced it will sell off its German assets and some of its Web properties so it can concentrate on its home market as well as its fledgling Turkish operation.