(pronounced "Rel-ex", sometimes written RElX) is a British multinational
information and analytics company headquartered in London
, England. Its businesses provide scientific, technical and medical information and analytics; legal information and analytics; 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, 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.
Amsterdam headquarters of Elsevier
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.
Cahners Publishing, founded by Norman Cahners
, was the largest U.S. publisher of trade
or business magazines as of his death in 1986. Reed Elsevier acquired the company in 1977.
Reed Elsevier and RELX
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.
Between 2006 and 2019, in 65 separate deals, the company systematically sold its 300 print, business to business magazine titles, reducing the proportion of print revenues from 51% to 9%.
Advertising, which had been the largest source of revenues when RELX was founded in 1992, represented just 1% of sales in 2018.
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
, and Trade Show Week
would cease publication. The closures were mostly due to the weak economy including an advertising slump.
, 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
in the Netherlands.
In January 2019, RBI sold its Dutch agricultural media and selected international agricultural media portfolio (including Poultry World)
to Doorakkeren BV.
In December 2019, RBI announced plans to sell the Farmers Weekly
magazine title, website and related platforms, events and awards to MA Agriculture Limited, part of the Mark Allen Group.
Operations and market segments
Scientific, Technical & Medical
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:
, an online database of primary research, contains 13 million documents.
is a bibliographic database containing abstracts and citations for academic journal articles. It contains more than 50 million items in more 20,000 titles from 5,000 publishers worldwide.
is a desktop and web program for managing and sharing research papers, discovering research data and collaborating online.
Elsevier is the world's largest publisher of academic articles. It publishes 420,000 articles a year in about 2,500 journals.
Its best-known titles are The Lancet
. 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
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.
Accuity provides financial crime compliance software
which allows institutions to comply with sanctions and anti-money laundering compliance programmes.
It offers Know Your Customer, KYC
, online subscription-based data and software 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 (previously known as FlightGlobal) provides data and analytics products to the travel industry.
RELX's legal business operates under the LexisNexis
brand. Many of LexisNexis' brands date back to the nineteenth century or earlier. These include Butterworths
in the UK and JurisClasseur in France.
In 2019, 85% of its revenues were electronic. The LexisNexis legal and news database contains 119bn documents and records.
RELX's exhibitions business is called Reed Exhibitions
. It is the world's largest exhibitions company, running 500 shows for 140,000 exhibitors and 7m visitors.
As of 2019
, the board of directors consisted of:
- Chief Executive: Erik Engström
- Chair: Sir Anthony Habgood
- Chief Financial Officer: Nick Luff
- Non-executive directors:
- Wolfhart Hauser
- Robert MacLeod
- Charlotte Hogg
- Adrian Hennah
- Marike van Lier Lels
- Linda Sanford
- Andrew Sukawaty
- Suzanne Wood
In 2019, Harvard Business Review ranked Erik Engström the world's 11th best performing CEO.
In August 2020, RELX announced Sir Anthony Habgood would retire as Chair, to be replaced by Paul Walker in the first half of 2021.
From 2011 to 2014, the average annual value of disposals was about $300m.
The predictability of the company's results in recent years has led to a re-rating of the shares.
The RELX Environmental Challenge awards grants to projects advancing access to safe water and sanitation.
In 2019, Mike Walsh, CEO of LexisNexis, was honoured by the UN Foundation with a Global Leadership award for the company's work in advancing the Rule of Law - recognizing the company's commitment to strengthening equality under law, transparency of law, independent judiciaries and accessible legal remedy.
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:
- With the Atlantic Council, launching the first draft of the Global Rule of Law Business Principles which will help businesses, law firms and NGOs promote and uphold the rule of law.
- With the International Bar Association, launching an application called eyeWitness to Atrocities, designed to capture GPS coordinates, date and time stamps, sensory and movement data, and the location of nearby objects such as Wi-Fi networks. The technology also creates a secure chain of custody to help verify that the images and video has not been edited or digitally manipulated. The goal is to create content that can be used in a court of law to prosecute perpetrators of atrocities and human rights abuses.
Programmes operated by LexisNexis Risk Solutions include:
- The ADAM (Automated Delivery of Alerts on Missing Children) programme in the US, developed by employees in 2000, which assists in the recovery of missing children through a system of targeted alerts. As of 2017 the programme has helped trace 177 missing children.
- Social Media Monitor, which assists law enforcement officials in investigating serious crimes such as drug dealing and human trafficking.
Reed Elsevier has been criticised for the high prices of its journals and services, especially those published by Elsevier. It has also supported SOPA
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.
2019 UC system negotiations
On 28 February 2019 following long negotiations, the University of California
announced it would be terminating all subscriptions with Elsevier.
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.
Collaboration with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE)
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Last edited on 20 July 2021, at 03:25
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