German publisher eyeing Reed magazines: report

FRANKFURT (Reuters) - German publishing house Gruner & Jahr is interested in buying the trade magazines unit of Anglo-Dutch publisher Reed Elsevier, a German newspaper reported on Wednesday.

Sueddeutsche Zeitung said Gruner & Jahr, a unit of German group Bertelsmann, had confirmed the interest, citing a spokesman.

Reed put the unit up for sale in February. It includes the Variety, Farmers Weekly and New Scientist publications.

London’s Daily Telegraph reported last week that up to 12 bidders submitted first-round offers for the business, valued at between 1 billion and 1.25 billion sterling ($1.9 billion and $2.3 billion).

Second-round bids are being sought in the coming weeks with final bids likely in early October, a source familiar with the situation told Reuters on Sunday.

A number of private equity firms are vying for the assets. They include European private equity firms Candover together with Cinven Ltd; Texas-based TPG; Boston-based Bain; Providence Equity Partners; and U.S.-based private equity firm Quadrangle together with Advent and U.S. publishing firm McGraw Hill, separate sources have told Reuters.

Reporting by Sylvia Westall; Editing by Daniel Trotta