Reed offers vendor financing for unit's sale-source

NEW YORK, Sept 9 (Reuters) - Reed Elsevier Plc REL.L is offering vendor financing from its own balance sheet and a staple financing package through banks for the potential buyer of its trade publications unit, a source briefed on the matter said.

In a sign of difficulties still faced by companies trying to sell assets following the credit crunch last year, the Anglo-Dutch publisher is offering $1.26 billion as part of a staple financing package from a consortium of banks.

Reed is also offering $330 million from its own balance sheet in vendor financing for the sale of Reed Business Information, the source said.

A second round of bids are due Sept. 18. First-round bids had valued the unit at between 1 billion and 1.25 billion pounds ($1.9 billion to $2.3 billion), sources previously told Reuters. (Editing by Andre Grenon)