|Type||Public limited company|
|Industry||Information and analytics|
|Headquarters||London, England, UK|
|Products||Information and data analytics, academic and business publishing, exhibitions|
|Revenue||£7.110 billion (2020)|
|£1.525 billion (2020)|
|£1.208 billion (2020)|
|Total assets||£14.145 billion (2020)|
|Total equity||£2.101 billion (2020)|
Number of employees
RELX (pronounced "Rel-ex", sometimes written RElX) is a British multinational information and analytics company headquartered in London, United Kingdom. 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. The company employs about 33,000 staff, of whom about 9,000 are IT professionals.
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). The company is one of the constituents of the FTSE 100 Index, Financial Times Global 500 and Euronext 100 Index.
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. RELX has outperformed the FTSE 100 index in the past 10 years after moving to the data and analytics space.
In 1895, Albert E. Reed established a newsprint manufacturing operation at Tovil Mill near Maidstone, Kent. The Reed family were Methodists and encouraged good working conditions for their staff in the then-dangerous print trade.
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.
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.
Reed Elsevier and RELX
During the 2010s, RELX accelerated its transformation from a print publisher to a digital business information and data company through its acquisition strategy. The company typically spends about £300m on about 25 acquisitions a year.
RELX completed 11 acquisitions throughout 2020 for an aggregate £878m.
|Division or subsidiary of RELX||Date||Acquisition||Value|
|Reed Elsevier||1993-08||Official Airline Guides Inc, a publisher of airline schedules||$425 million|
|Reed Elsevier||1994-10||LexisNexis, an on-line information business||$1.5 billion|
|Reed Elsevier||1997-03||MDL Information Systems Inc, a US software systems and information database developer||$320M|
|Reed Elsevier||1997-06||Chilton Business Group, a US business information publishing company||$447M|
|Reed Elsevier||1998-04||Matthew Bender & Company Inc, a US publisher of legal information||$1.65bn|
|Reed Elsevier||2000-10||Harcourt, an education publishing business||$4.5bn plus debt|
|LexisNexis||2004-07||Seisint of Boca Raton, Florida, which provided the company with access to HPCC Systems for the first time||$775M|
|Reed Elsevier||2005-05||Medimedia, a medical publisher whose imprints included Medicine Publishing and Masson||$270M|
|Reed Elsevier||2008-02||Choicepoint, which had been a spinoff of Equifax's Insurance Services Group in August 1997. The acquisition was completed in September 2008.||$4.1bn|
|Reed Business Information||2011-06||Ascend, a London-based civil aviation data analytics company||Undisclosed|
|Reed Elsevier||2011-11||US online-data business Accuity Holdings Inc. from investment firm Investcorp||£343M ($530.1M)|
|LexisNexis Legal & Professional||2012-03||Law360, a US-based online provider of legal information and analysis||Undisclosed|
|Elsevier||2013-04||Mendeley, a London-based desktop and web program for managing and sharing research papers, discovering research data and collaborating online||Undisclosed but up to $100M|
|LexisNexis Risk Solutions||2013-09||Mapflow, a Dublin-based group that helps insurance companies assess geographic risk, in particular in relation to flooding||Undisclosed|
|LexisNexis Risk Solutions||2014-04||Tracesmart, a UK-based provider of tracing, identity verification, fraud prevention and anti-money laundering software||Undisclosed|
|LexisNexis Risk Solutions||2014-05||Wunelli, a telematics data business which uses driving data for insurers, enabling them to reduce risk exposure and deliver discounts to safer drivers||£25m|
|Accuity||2014-09||Fircosoft, a Paris-based anti-money laundering company||€150M|
|LexisNexis Risk Solutions||2014-11||Health Market Science (HMS), a supplier of high quality data about US healthcare professionals||Undisclosed|
|LexisNexis Risk Solutions||2015-01||BAIR Analytics, a US-based law enforcement data company||Undisclosed|
|LexisNexis Legal & Professional||2015-07||MLex, a media organization providing exclusive analysis and commentary on regulatory risk||Undisclosed|
|Reed Business Information||2015-10||Adaptris, a fast-growing supply chain integration business||Undisclosed|
|LexisNexis Legal & Professional||2015-11||Lex Machina, a US-based online provider of legal analytics||Undisclosed|
|LexisNexis Risk Solutions||2016-07||Insurance Initiatives, Ltd. (IIL), a business which provides a data distribution platform that extracts, hosts and processes large quantities of data to deliver information predominantly into the point-of-quote in the UK's Property & Casualty Insurance industry.||Undisclosed|
|LexisNexis Legal & Professional||2017-06||Ravel Law, a San Francisco-based legal analytics company||Undisclosed|
|LexisNexis Risk Solutions||2018-01||ThreatMetrix, one of the largest repositories of online digital identities in the world||£580M ($830M)|
|Reed Exhibitions||2018-02||The Gamer Network of video game journalism websites||Undisclosed|
|LexisNexis Risk Solutions||2020-01||ID Analytics ||$375m|
|LexisNexis Risk Solutions||2020-02||Emailage||$480m|
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.
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 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.
Operations and market segments
RELX’s 3 largest business areas; STM, risk and legal, performed slightly better in 2020 than they did the previous year. These areas made up 95% of the company’s revenue in 2020 and are expected to grow revenues and profits in 2021 according to the FTSE 100 group.
Scientific, Technical & Medical
RELX's Scientific, Technical & Medical business, which operates under the name of Elsevier, provides information and analytics that help institutions and professionals progress science, advance healthcare and improve performance.
Scopus is a bibliographic database containing abstracts and citations for academic journal articles. It contains more than 76 million items in more 25,000 journals from 5,000 publishers worldwide.
Elsevier is the world's largest publisher of academic articles. It publishes about 500,000 articles a year in about 2,500 journals. Its best-known titles are The Lancet and Cell. The STM division, which includes Elsevier, launched 115 new journals in 2020. Most of the journals were author-pays open access titles leading to a total of 500.
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 is a global data and analytics business that provides data and technology services, analytics, predictive insights, and fraud prevention for a wide range of industries. It is headquartered in Alpharetta, Georgia (part of the Atlanta metropolitan area) and has offices throughout the United States, and in Australia, Brazil, China, Hong Kong SAR, India, Ireland, Israel, Philippines and the United Kingdom. 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.
The business trades under the name LexisNexis Risk Solutions Group. Businesses operating within this business include LexisNexis Risk Solutions (Insurance, Business Services including Accuity, Government and Health Care), ICIS, Cirium, Proagrica, XpertHR, EG and Nextens brands.
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 and Tolley 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. It owns Law360, the online legal news service.
- 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.
Between 2001 and 2019, the company's shares outperformed the FTSE 100 every year, the only company to achieve this. While Sir Anthony Habgood was chairman between 2009 and 2019, RELX shares quadrupled, making it one of the 15 most valuable companies in the FTSE 100.
Between 2009 and 2019, RELX transformed itself from a publishing house into an information and data group by selling off its business and trade magazines, reducing its dependence on print and investing analytics. In 2019, Barron's said the company had transformed itself from a media company to a high-margin tech player. In 2007, half of RELX's revenues came from print and 15 percent from advertising; they are now 9 per cent and less than 1 per cent respectively. In 2020, RELX generated just 8% of its revenues from print, compared to 64% in 2000.
RELX was named Britain's most admired media group in 2019.
|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||2,491||2,076|
|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||93.0p||80.1p|
In 2019, RELX was ranked second among the world's 1,200 largest companies for its environmental, social and governance performance by CSRHub.
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.
Elsevier is a founder member and the leading contributor of content to the Research4Life, a partnership between UN agencies and 160 publishers to provide lower income countries with free or low-cost access to academic and professional peer-reviewed literature online. In 2019, there were over 1.3m Research4Life downloads of Elsevier content.
From January 2020, Elsevier created a Covid-19 resource center with free information in English and Mandarin on the Covid19.
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[update] 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.
Elsevier has been criticised for its policies. Fields medalist mathematician Sir Timothy Gowers initiated an online pledge and petition (The Cost of Knowledge). The movement has received support from noted science bloggers, such as biologist Jonathan Eisen. Between 2012 and November 2019, about 17,000 people signed The Cost of Knowledge boycott, although in 2020 the site was no longer active. In 2020, Elsevier received 2m article submissions compared with 1m in 2012 when the boycott started. Between 2012 and 2019, Elsevier increased the number of articles it published from 336,000 to 497,000.
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 agitated for the company to stop organising arms fairs. 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 Reed Elsevier's involvement in both the arms trade and medical publishing constituted a conflict of interest. In June the company announced it would exit the defence exhibition business in the second half of 2007.
Collaboration with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE)
In November 2019, legal scholars and human rights activists called on RELX to cease work with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement because their product LexisNexis directly contributes to the deportation of illegal immigrants.
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- "Four Recently Recovered Missing Children Make 99 recoveries for ChoicePoint(R)'s ADAM Program". Wistv. 29 January 2015. Retrieved 23 September 2015.
- "Product Shoot-Out: The Top 4 Social Media Monitoring Apps for LEAs". Insider Surveillance. 14 July 2014. Retrieved 23 September 2015.
- Jop de Vrieze (1 February 2012). "Thousands of Scientists Vow to Boycott Elsevier". Science Magazine. Retrieved 2 February 2012.
- Dobbs, David (30 January 2012). "Testify: The Open Science Movement Catches Fire". Wired. Retrieved 2 February 2012.
- "Annual Report 2016" (PDF). RELX. Retrieved 27 February 2018.
- "A Review of the Data Broker Industry: Collection, Use, and Sale of Consumer Data for Marketing Purposes". US Senate. Retrieved 21 March 2015.
- "Agency Announces Settlement of Separate Actions Against Retailer TJX, and Data Brokers Reed Elsevier and Seisint for Failing to Provide Adequate Security for Consumers Data". Federal Trade Commission. 27 March 2008. Retrieved 21 March 2015.
- "Elsevier petition". idiolect.org.uk. Retrieved 21 March 2015.
- Smith, Richard (20 February 2007). "Lancet publishers condemned over promotion of arms". Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine. Retrieved 18 March 2007.
- "Reed Elsevier says to exit defence industry shows". Reuters. 1 June 2007. Retrieved 18 September 2015.
- Currier, Cora (14 November 2019). "Lawyers and Scholars to LexisNexis, Thomson Reuters: Stop Helping ICE Deport People". The Intercept.
- General references
- Guardian Unlimited, "Bad Science" by Ben Goldacre about Open Access and DSEI arms trade
- ketupa.net media profile: Reed Elsevier historical overview
- "Double Dutch No Longer"—in-depth article about the company from 2002 (Forbes.com)
- "Duncan Palmer Becomes Reed Elsevier CFO"—Online article about the new CFO of Reed Elsevier, accessed 09/17/2012
- Business data for RELX PLC:
- Business data for RELX NV: