Reed Business Information (RBI) has announced it will acquire, Inc., (BuyerZone) an online B2B lead generation business. BuyerZone links prospective buyers to qualified suppliers of more than 125 business product and service categories.

 The product and services categories include office and industrial equipment, telecom, technology, software services, human resources, financial products and retail services. Over 8,000 suppliers participate, including: Administaff, Intuit, Paychex, ADT, Bobcat, Nissan Forklifts, Toyota, Volvo, Epson, Konica Minolta, Pitney Bowes, Sharp, Avaya, Mitsubishi, NEC, Nortel and Toshiba. RBI says supplier renewal rates are over 90%.  BuyerZone’s search engine marketing [SEM] expertise is expected to assist RBI in growing its marketing and editorial reach across numerous industry sectors. BuyerZone will benefit from RBI’s substantial portfolio of websites, magazines, and email marketing business, as well as search engine optimization [SEO] skills from Reed Business Interactive and Reed Business’ global tradeshows.  No revenue figures were provided, but since 2004, BuyerZone has facilitated more than $5 billion worth of transactions and served over 1.5 million users, with a high concentration in small and medium businesses.  

 Outsell and BIIA Commentary: Outsell estimates the revenue to be approximately $70 million in 2006, RBI says the company is profitable. 

 One question emphasizes how different this kind of acquisition is for a major information company:  where’s the content? The B2B trade mantra is “connecting buyers and sellers.”  As in most transaction based systems the buyers and sellers provide the content! Users send out RFQs (requests for quotes) and advertisers reply with offers. And one of the major B2B information industry kingdoms, with a rich content pedigree that includes Variety, Electronic Design News, Publishers Weekly and Reed Construction Data, increases revenue by more than 10% without supplying one word of its own content.  Since all transactions are likely to be based on open trade figures, it will probably not long for RBI to figure out how to add credit information on the buyer to the equation.  Source: Outsell –  A BIIA Member

BIIA Newsletter January – 2007 Issue