RELX plc (pronounced "Rel-ex") is a corporate group comprising companies that publish scientific, technical and medical material, and legal textbooks; provide decision-making tools; and organise exhibitions. It operates in 40 countries and serves customers in over 180 nations. It was previously known as Reed Elsevier, and came into being in 1992 as a result of the merger of Reed International, a British trade book and magazine publisher, and Elsevier, a Netherlands-based scientific publisher.
The company is publicly listed, with shares traded on the London Stock Exchange, Amsterdam Stock Exchange and New York Stock Exchange (ticker symbols: London: REL, Amsterdam: REN, New York: RELX). About 55 per cent of the company's revenues are generated from the US, with 23 per cent from Europe and 22 per cent from the rest of the world. The company is one of the constituents of the FTSE 100 Index, Financial Times Global 500 and Euronext 100 Index.
|Public limited company|
|Industry||Information and Analytics|
|Headquarters||London, United Kingdom|
|Products||Information and data analytics, academic and business publishing, exhibitions|
|Revenue||£ 7.492 billion (2018)|
|£ 1.964 billion (2018)|
|£ 1.428 billion (2018)|
|Total assets||£ 13.999 billion (2018)|
|Total equity||£ 2.359 billion (2018)|
Number of employees
The company, which was previously known as Reed Elsevier, came into being in 1992, as a result of the merger of Reed International, a British trade book and magazine publisher, and Elsevier, a Netherlands-based scientific publisher. The company re-branded itself as RELX in February 2015.
In 1965 Reed Group, as it was then known, became a conglomerate, creating its Decorative Products Division with the purchase of Crown Paints, Polycell and Sanderson's wallpaper and DIY decorating interests.
In 1970, Reed Group merged with the International Publishing Corporation and the company name was changed to Reed International Limited. The company continued to grow by merging with other publishers and produced high quality trade journals as IPC Business Press Ltd and women's and other consumer magazines as IPC magazines Ltd. The original family owners, the Reeds, were Methodists and encouraged good working conditions for their staff in the then-dangerous print trade.
In 1985 the company decided to rationalise its operations, focusing on publishing and selling off its other interests. Sanderson was sold to WestPoint Pepperell, Inc. of Georgia, United States, that year, while Crown Paint and Polycell were sold to Williams Holdings in 1987. The company's paper and packaging production operations were bundled together to form Reedpack and sold to private equity firm Cinven in 1988.
In 1880, Jacobus George Robbers started a publishing company called NV Uitgeversmaatschappij Elsevier (Elsevier Publishing Company NV) to publish literary classics and the encyclopedia Winkler Prins. Robbers named the company after the old Dutch printers family Elzevir, which, for example, published the works of Erasmus in 1587. Elsevier NV originally was based in Rotterdam but moved to Amsterdam in the late 1880s.
Up to the 1930s, Elsevier remained a small family-owned publisher, with no more than ten employees. After the war it launched the weekly Elsevier magazine, which turned out to be very profitable. A rapid expansion followed. Elsevier Press Inc. started in 1951 in Houston, Texas, USA, and in 1962 publishing offices were opened in London and New York. Multiple mergers in the 1970s led to name changes, settling at "Elsevier Scientific Publishers" in 1979. In 1991, two years before the merger with Reed, Elsevier acquired Pergamon Press in the UK.
|Company or division/subsidiary||Date||Acquisition||Value|
|Reed Elsevier||August 1993||Official Airline Guides Inc, a publisher of airline schedules||$425 million|
|Reed Elsevier||October 1994||LexisNexis, an on-line information business||$1.5 billion|
|Reed Elsevier||March 1997||MDL Information Systems Inc, a US software systems and information database developer||$320 million|
|Reed Elsevier||June 1997||Chilton Business Group, a US business information publishing company||$447 million|
|Reed Elsevier||April 1998||Matthew Bender & Company Inc, a US publisher of legal information||$1.65 billion|
|Reed Elsevier||October 2000||Harcourt, an education publishing business||$4.5 billion plus debt|
|LexisNexis||2004||Seisint of Boca Raton, Florida, which provided the company with access to HPCC Systems for the first time||$775 million|
|Reed Elsevier||May 2005||Medimedia, a medical publisher whose imprints included Medicine Publishing and Masson||$270 million|
|Reed Elsevier||February 2008||Choicepoint, which had been a spinoff of Equifax's Insurance Services Group in August 1997. The acquisition was completed in September 2008.||$4.1 billion|
|Reed Business Information||June 2011||Ascend, a London-based civil aviation data analytics company|
|Reed Elsevier||November 2011||US online-data business Accuity Holdings Inc. from investment firm Investcorp||£343 million ($530.1 million)|
|LexisNexis Legal & Professional||March 2012||Law360, a US-based online provider of legal information and analysis|
|Elsevier||April 2013||Mendeley, a London-based desktop and web program for managing and sharing research papers, discovering research data and collaborating online|
|LexisNexis Risk Solutions||September 2013||Mapflow, a Dublin-based group that helps insurance companies assess geographic risk, in particular in relation to flooding|
|LexisNexis Risk Solutions||April 2014||Tracesmart, a UK-based provider of tracing, identity verification, fraud prevention and anti-money laundering solutions|
|LexisNexis Risk Solutions||May 2014||Wunelli, a telematics data business which uses driving data for insurers, enabling them to reduce risk exposure and deliver discounts to safer drivers|
|Accuity||September 2014||Fircosoft, a Paris-based anti-money laundering company|
|LexisNexis Risk Solutions||November 2014||Health Market Science (HMS), a supplier of high quality data about US healthcare professionals|
|LexisNexis Risk Solutions||January 2015||BAIR Analytics, a US-based law enforcement data company|
|LexisNexis Legal & Professional||July 2015||MLex, a media organization providing exclusive analysis and commentary on regulatory risk|
|Reed Business Information||October 2015||Adaptris, a fast-growing supply chain integration and e-solutions company|
|LexisNexis Legal & Professional||November 2015||Lex Machina, a US-based online provider of legal analytics|
|LexisNexis Legal & Professional||June 2017||Ravel Law, a San Francisco-based legal analytics company|
|LexisNexis Risk Solutions||January 2018||ThreatMetrix, one of the largest repositories of online digital identities in the world||£580m ($830m)|
|Reed Exhibitions||February 2018||The Gamer Network of video game journalism websites|
In February 1997, Reed Elsevier divested its trade publishing group (including Heinemann, Methuen, Secker & Warburg, Sinclair-Stevenson, Mandarin, Minerva and Cedar) to Random House. In 1998, Reed Elsevier sold the children's divisions of Heinemann, Methuen, Hamlyn and Mammoth to the Egmont Group.
In February 2007, the company announced its intention to sell Harcourt, its educational publishing division. On 4 May 2007 Pearson, the international education and information company, announced that it had agreed to acquire Harcourt Assessment and Harcourt Education International from Reed Elsevier for $950m in cash. In July 2007, Reed Elsevier announced its agreement to sell the remaining Harcourt Education business, including international imprint Heinemann, to Houghton Mifflin for $4 billion in cash and stock.
In July 2009, Reed Elsevier announced its intention to sell most of its North American trade publications, including Publishers Weekly, Broadcasting & Cable, and Multichannel News, although it planned to retain Variety.
In April 2010, Reed Elsevier announced that it had sold 21 US magazines to other owners in recent months, and that an additional 23 US trade magazines, including Restaurants & Institutions, Hotels, and Trade Show Week would cease publication. The closures were mostly due to the weak economy including an advertising slump.
Variety, the company's last remaining North American title, was sold in October 2012.
In 2014, Reed Business Information sold BuyerZone, an online marketplace; emedia, an American provider of research for IT buyers and vendors; and a majority stake in Reed Construction Data, a provider of construction data.
In 2016, RELX sold Elsevier Weekly and BeleggersBelangen in the Netherlands.
RELX's Scientific, Technical & Medical business provides information, analytics and tools that help investors make decisions that improve scientific and healthcare outcomes. It operates under the name of Elsevier and generated revenues in the year to 31 December 2017 of £2.5 billion.
Elsevier is the world's largest publisher of academic articles, with 16 per cent market share, according to the Financial Times. It publishes 420,000 articles a year in about 2,500 journals. Its best-known titles are The Lancet and Cell. In 1995, Forbes magazine (wrongly) predicted Elsevier would be "the first victim of the internet" as it was disrupted and disintermediated by the World Wide Web.
Risk & Business Analytics provides decision-making tools which help banks spot money launderers and insurance companies weed out fraudulent claims.
The business claims to have saved the state of Florida more than $60 million a year by preventing benefit fraud. Leading brands include Flightglobal and Farmers Weekly. In 2015, Forbes Magazine voted LexisNexis, a RELX company, one of the top 10 employers in the US Technology Sector.
Accuity Inc., operates globally within the Risk & Business Analytics division of RELX. The firm provides financial crime compliance software which allows institutions to comply with sanctions and anti-money laundering compliance programmes. It offers KYC, online subscription-based data and software solutions for the financial services industry. The company's services include helping banks and financial institutions screen for high risk customers and transactions, and providing databases such as Bankers Almanac which allows clients to find and validate bank payment routing data. Accuity serves financial services clients worldwide.
Cirium operates globally within the Risk & Business Analytics division of RELX. The firm provides data and analytics solutions for the wider travel industry. Cirium's data and analytics portfolio comprises Cirium Solutions and Cirium Professional Services - Ascend by Cirium. The publishing, events and jobs part of the business operates as FlightGlobal under the Cirium portfolio. 
RELX's legal business operates under the LexisNexis brand. Many of LexisNexis' brands date back to the nineteenth century or earlier. These include Butterworths and Tolley in the UK and JurisClasseur in France.
In January 2013, shortly after the Sandy Hook Elementary School Shooting when 20 children and six adult staff members were killed, Reed Exhibitions caused an uproar at the Eastern Sports and Outdoor Show when it decided to not allow assault weapons and high-capacity magazines at the show. This decision caused a huge backlash and subsequent boycott that eventually shut the show down for that year. Also the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) terminated their management of the SHOT show held in Las Vegas every year.
As of 2017, the board of directors consisted of:
|Adjusted operating profit (£m)||1,142||1,081||1,137||1,379||1,570||1,555||1,626||1,713||1,749||1,739||1,822||2,114||2,284||2,346|
|Adjusted EPS (p)||31.5p||33.6p||35.9p||44.6p||45.9p||43.4p||46.7p||50.1p||54.0p||56.3p||60.5p||72.2p||81.0p||84.7p|
|Adjusted EPS (€)||€ 0.70||€ 0.76||€ 0.80||€ 0.87||€ 0.79||€ 0.78||€ 0.83||€ 0.95||€ 0.99||€ 1.07||€0.835||€0.880||€0.923||€0.982|
The RELX Environmental Challenge awards grants to projects advancing access to safe water and sanitation.
The Elsevier Foundation supports libraries in developing countries, women scientists and nursing facilities. In 2016 it committed $1m a year, for 3 years, to programmes encouraging diversity in science, technology and medicine and promoting science research in developing countries.
Programmes operated by LexisNexis Legal & Professional include:
Programmes operated by LexisNexis Risk Solutions include:
Reed Elsevier has been criticised for the high prices of its journals and services, especially those published by Elsevier. It has also supported SOPA, PIPA and the Research Works Act, although it no longer supports the last. Because of this, members of the scientific community have boycotted Elsevier journals. In January 2012, the boycott gained an online pledge and petition (The Cost of Knowledge) initiated by mathematician and Fields medalist Sir Timothy Gowers. The movement has received support from noted science bloggers, such as biologist Jonathan Eisen. Between 2012 and November 2015, about 15,391 scientists signed The Cost of Knowledge boycott. In 2016, Elsevier received 1.5 million article submissions.
As a data broker Reed Elsevier collected, used, and sold data on millions of consumers. In 2005, a security breach occurred through a recently purchased subsidiary, Seisint, which allowed identity thieves to steal the records of at least 316,000 people. The database contained names, current and prior addresses, dates of birth, drivers license numbers and Social Security numbers, among other data obtained from credit reporting agencies and other sources. In 2008 the company settled an action taken against it by the Federal Trade Commission for multiple failures of security practice in how the data was stored and protected. The settlement required Reed Elsevier and Seisint to establish and maintain a comprehensive security program to protect nonpublic personal information.
Between 2005 and 2007, members of the medical and scientific communities, which purchase and use many journals published by Reed Elsevier, agitated for the company to cut its links to the arms trade. Two UK academics, Tom Stafford of Sheffield University and Nick Gill, launched petitions calling for it to stop organising arms fairs. A subsidiary, Spearhead, organised defence shows, including an event where it was reported that cluster bombs and extremely powerful riot control equipment were offered for sale. In February 2007 Richard Smith, former editor of the British Medical Journal, published an editorial in the Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine arguing that Reed Elsevier's involvement in both the arms trade and medical publishing constituted a conflict of interest. Subsequently, in June the company announced that they would be exiting the defence exhibition business during the second half of the year.
5Select is a British free-to-air television channel which features documentaries and dramas and Channel 5 original content. It is owned by Channel 5 Broadcasting Ltd.Anthony Habgood
Sir Anthony John Habgood (born 8 November 1946) is a British businessman. He has been chief executive of Bunzl and chairman of Whitbread, RELX Group and of the Court of the Bank of England. He has been described in the FT as "the City’s go-to grandee."Bepress
Bepress is a commercial, academic software firm owned by RELX Group. It began in 1999 as the Berkeley Electronic Press, co-founded by academics Robert Cooter and Aaron Edlin. It makes products and services to support scholarly communication, including institutional repository and publishing software. Until September 2011 it also published electronic journals.
In August 2017, Bepress was acquired by RELX Group for an undisclosed amount, reported to be around £100 million ($129.3 million).Books in the Netherlands
As of 2018, Wolters Kluwer ranks as the Netherlands' biggest publisher of books in terms of revenue. Other notable Dutch houses include Brill (est. 1683) and Elsevier (est. 1880; now part of UK-based RELX Group).Books in the United Kingdom
As of 2018, seven firms in the United Kingdom rank among the world's biggest publishers of books in terms of revenue: Bloomsbury, Cambridge University Press, Informa, Oxford University Press, Pearson, Quarto, and RELX Group.DS Smith
DS Smith plc is a leading British-based international packaging business. It is headquartered in Euston Road, London, and is a constituent of the FTSE 100 Index.Digital Commons (Elsevier)
Digital Commons is a commercial, hosted institutional repository platform owned by RELX Group. This hosted service, licensed by bepress, is used by over 500 academic institutions, healthcare centers, public libraries, and research centers to preserve and showcase their scholarly output and special collections.Elsevier
Elsevier (Dutch: [ˈɛlzəviːr]) is a Dutch information and analytics company and one of the world's major providers of scientific, technical, and medical information. It was established in 1880 as a publishing company. It is a part of the RELX Group, known until 2015 as Reed Elsevier. Its products include journals such as The Lancet and Cell, the ScienceDirect collection of electronic journals, the Trends and Current Opinion series of journals, the online citation database Scopus, and the ClinicalKey solution for clinicians. Elsevier's products and services include the entire academic research lifecycle, including software and data-management, instruction and assessment tools.Elsevier publishes more than 470,000 articles annually in 2,500 journals. Its archives contain over 16 million documents and 30,000 e-books. Total yearly downloads amount to more than 1 billion.Elsevier's high operating profit margins (37% in 2018) and its copyright practices have subjected it to criticism by researchers.Erik Engstrom
Erik Nils Engström (born 14 June 1963) is a Swedish businessman, chief executive officer (CEO) of RELX Group, a multinational information and analytics company, operating in four market segments: scientific, technical and medical; risk and business information; legal; and exhibitions.Halma plc
Halma plc is a group of technology companies that makes products for hazard detection and life protection. It is listed on the London Stock Exchange and is a constituent of the FTSE 100 Index.Informa
Informa plc is a multinational events and publishing company with its head office and registered office in London. It has offices in 43 countries and around 11,000 employees. It owns numerous brands including CRC Press, Datamonitor, Fan Expo, Institute for International Research, Lloyd's List (London Press Lloyd), Penton, Routledge, Taylor & Francis, and UBM.
It is listed on the London Stock Exchange and is a constituent of the FTSE 100 Index.LexisNexis
LexisNexis is a corporation providing computer-assisted legal research (CALR) as well as business research and risk management services.
During the 1970s, LexisNexis pioneered the electronic accessibility of legal and journalistic documents. As of 2006, the company has the world's largest electronic database for legal and public-records related information.LexisNexis Risk Solutions
Not to be confused with LexisNexis or Lexus
LexisNexis Risk Solutions, is a global data and analytics company that provides data and technology solutions, analytics, predictive insights, and fraud prevention for a wide range of industries. It is headquartered in Alpharetta, in metro Atlanta, Georgia, and has offices throughout the U.S. and in Australia, Brazil, China, Hong Kong SAR, India, Ireland, Israel, Philippines and the U.K. The company’s customers include businesses within the insurance, financial services, healthcare and corporate sectors as well as the local, state and federal government, law enforcement and public safety.
LexisNexis Risk Solutions operates within the Risk & Business Analytics market segment of RELX, a multinational information and analytics company based in London.Reed Exhibitions
Reed Exhibitions is an event organiser, with a portfolio of approximately 500 events in 40 countries including UK, Austria, USA, France, Germany, Brazil, Russia, India, China, Australia, South Africa and the Middle East. Reed Exhibitions, which employs about 4,000 employees, is part of RELX Group, an information and analytics company which operates in four market segments: scientific, technical and medical; risk and business analytics; legal; and exhibitions. In 2017, RELX Group made an adjusted profit of £2,284m on revenues of £7,355m.Reed Exhibitions' primary focus is large-scale business-to-business events, although it also runs a small number of consumer events. Reed’s main industry sectors are: aerospace & aviation, automobiles, beauty & cosmetics, broadcasting, building & construction, electronics, energy, oil & gas, engineering & manufacturing, food service & hospitality, gifts, healthcare, interior design, IT & telecoms, jewellery, life science & pharmaceuticals, machinery, marketing, business services & training, medical education, printing & graphics, security & safety, sports & recreation and travel.ScienceDirect
ScienceDirect is a website which provides subscription-based access to a large database of scientific and medical research. It hosts over 12 million pieces of content from 3,500 academic journals and 34,000 e-books. The journals are grouped into four main sections: Physical Sciences and Engineering, Life Sciences, Health Sciences, and Social Sciences and Humanities. Article abstracts are freely available, but access to their full texts (in PDF and, for newer publications, also HTML) generally requires a subscription or pay-per-view purchase.Smurfit Kappa
The Smurfit Kappa Group plc is Europe's leading corrugated packaging company and one of the leading paper-based packaging companies in the world. It is listed on the London Stock Exchange and is a constituent of the FTSE 100 Index.Sony Crime Channel
Sony Crime Channel is a British free-to-air television channel, focusing on crime television programmes and documentaries. It was launched on 6 February 2018 and it is owned by Sony Pictures Television. It airs crime programming targeted at a female audience.TI Media
TI Media (formerly International Publishing Corporation, IPC Magazines Ltd, IPC Media and Time Inc. UK), is a consumer magazine and digital publisher in the United Kingdom, with a large portfolio selling over 350 million copies each year. It is owned by a fund affiliated with British private equity firm Epiris.Wexis
Wexis is a humorous portmanteau used to refer to the alleged duopoly of publishing conglomerates that dominate the U.S. legal information services industry – namely, West Publishing and LexisNexis.Neither of these companies is independent – they are parts of much larger conglomerates that dominate the entire information services sector. West is owned by Thomson Reuters, while LexisNexis is a division of RELX Group.
These companies dispute the allegation that they are a duopoly; LexisNexis actually sued one company which used the terms "Wexis" and "duopoly" in its marketing literature.