Joint venture with leading Russian publisher extends Wolters Kluwer Legal, Tax & Regulatory Europe’s strong market position in Eastern Europe
Wolters Kluwer, a leading global information services and publishing company, today announced it reached an agreement on the acquisition of a majority participation of 55% of shares in the International Centre for Financial and Economic Development (ICFED), a leading Moscow-based professional publisher specializing in information services for human resources, tax, and accounting professionals. Wolters Kluwer has the right to acquire the remaining 45% of shares over time. The current owners of ICFED will stay on and remain committed to further success and expansion of the company. The joint venture will significantly extend Wolters Kluwer’s position in Eastern Europe as a provider of integrated products and solutions. The current Wolters Kluwer Russia activities will be part of the joint venture.
ICFED (known in the Russian language as MCFR) holds leading positions in journals, loose-leafs, books, and education and training for human resources, tax, accounting, legal, and public administration professionals throughout Russia. Over the past two years, ICFED has expanded into Ukraine, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, and Azerbaijan - key members of the Commonwealth of Independent States - launching customized versions of their products and training resources for HR and tax professionals. Founded in 1991, ICFED currently has approximately 800 employees.
“Adding ICFED’s market-leading products and services to Wolters Kluwer’s strong European portfolio is a significant step in our strategy to accelerate profitable growth,” said Rolv Eide, CEO of Wolters Kluwer Legal, Tax & Regulatory Europe. “We see important potential in emerging markets such as Russia as significant growth in the number of professionals continues. We are very pleased with this cooperation and together with our business partners, we can further grow the business. This joint venture enables us to expand our global footprint and product offering to better serve our customers in Eastern Europe.”
Maxim Mezhansky, CEO of ICFED, said, “We are proud to begin this cooperation with Wolters Kluwer. Access to global best practices in software solutions and online publishing will increase our opportunities to offer the best solutions to our markets and create enhanced value for professionals in Russia and the CIS.”
Completion of the proposed shareholding is subject to approval by anti-trust authorities and other customary closing conditions. Terms of the transaction are not disclosed.
About Wolters Kluwer
Wolters Kluwer is a leading global information services and publishing company. The company provides products and services for professionals in the health, tax, accounting, corporate, financial services, legal and regulatory sectors. Wolters Kluwer has annual revenues (2006) of €3.4 billion, employs approximately 18,450 people worldwide, and maintains operations across Europe, North America, and Asia Pacific. Wolters Kluwer is headquartered in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. Its shares are quoted on the Euronext Amsterdam (WKL) and are included in the AEX and Euronext 100 indices. For more information, visit www.wolterskluwer.com.
This press release contains forward-looking statements. These statements may be identified by words such as “expect,” “should,” “could,” “shall,” and similar expressions. Wolters Kluwer cautions that such forward-looking statements are qualified by certain risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results and events to differ materially from what is contemplated by the forward-looking statements. Factors which could cause actual results to differ from these forward-looking statements may include, without limitation, general economic conditions; conditions in the markets in which Wolters Kluwer is engaged; behavior of customers, suppliers, and competitors; technological developments; the implementation and execution of new ICT systems or outsourcing; and legal, tax, and regulatory rules affecting Wolters Kluwer’s businesses, as well as risks related to mergers, acquisitions, and divestments. In addition, financial risks such as currency movements, interest rate fluctuations, liquidity, and credit risks could influence future results. The foregoing list of factors should not be construed as exhaustive. Wolters Kluwer disclaims any intention or obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events, or otherwise.