VNU closes in on ZD Europe

Leaks could force early disclosure

It's kind of official. Stein & Co, new owner of the Ziff-Davis paper empire, is to dispose of its European operations. And word on several streets is Dutch publishing giant VNU is the buyer.

News of the deal has not been confirmed - but that's the hot rumour doing the rounds of both VNU and ZD UK. An internal memo circulated to ZD UK staff (which, in true beancounter style, referred to them as "assets"), outlined enhanced redundancy terms for the duration of any negotiation process.

This is designed to make hacks and sales reps stay with the company, as opposed to getting them to leave. But will it work? In the memo, ZD said that it was extremely unlikely that the new owner would want to make people redundant. Hmm. ®

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