Hot Stocks

RPT-UPDATE 1-Reed up on Wolters bid talk, bankers sceptical

(Repeats to additional Reuters subscribers)

* Reed shares up on talk of a Wolters Kluwer bid of 6.50 stg

* Investment bankers sceptical of a tieup

* Reed shares up 1.3 pct after rising 3 pct; Wolters up 2.5

(Adds banking sources, Reed no comment; updates prices)

LONDON, Oct 13 (Reuters) - Investment bankers said they were sceptical of a tie-up between publishers Reed Elsevier REL.L and Wolters Kluwer WLSNc.AS, even as market talk of a bid pushed Reed's stock up as much as 3 percent on Wednesday.

Traders in London and Paris said that there was talk Wolters Kluwer was set to bid at 6.50 pounds per share for Reed.

Shares Anglo-Dutch company Reed pared gains to trade up 1.3 percent by 1101 GMT, while Wolters Kluwer shares gained 2.5 percent, after some traders said Reed was more likely to buy Wolters Kluwer than vice versa.

Investment bankers were not convinced that a deal was in the offing, with one person saying it made more sense for Reed to make an offer for Wolters Kluwer.

“Any deal would have to involve Reed buying Wolters Kluwer and not the other way round, but there would be significant anti-trust issues around medical and legal publishing in Europe,” said a banker who advises media companies.

The banker added he was not aware of any talks or process involving either party.

He said Reed has been very focused on improving its top line growth, an area where it had outperformed Wolters Kluwer, making its rival a less attractive target.

Wolters Kluwer and Reed both declined to comment.

Wolters Kluwer has a market capitalisation of 4.8 billion euros ($6.65 billion) while Reed which is listed in both London and Amsterdam ELSN.AS has a combined market capitalisation of around $20 billion.

“I don’t think much of the Reed rumour ... cannot see Wolters doing a reverse takeover,” a trader said.

Another banker said it made more sense for Wolters Kluwer to look at parts of Reed, although Reed considered the units Wolters Kluwer might want as core assets.

“Reed has a strong legal business in the U.S. and Wolters Kluwer has a strong tax business there, but Reed would not want to sell these,” the second banker said.

He added that Wolters Kluwer was not likely to be interested in Reed’s exhibition or business publishing units, which are often described as assets Reed would sell. ($1=.7214 Euro) (Reporting by Simon Falush, Victoria Howley, Blaise Robinson, Harpreet Bhal and Jon Hopkins; Editing by Karen Foster)