More businesses on the block at LexisNexis?

Contact: Brenon Daly

When LexisNexis announced last month that it was selling off its HotDocs business, it got us thinking about other divestitures that the information provider may be contemplating. More specifically, we wonder if LexisNexis is considering reheating its effort to shed Applied Discovery. Not too long ago, we heard rumors that LexisNexis had hired a bank to help it unwind its $95m purchase of the Seattle-based e-discovery startup. LexisNexis picked up Applied Discovery in mid-2003.

According to one source, LexisNexis came close to selling Applied Discovery to the Silicon Valley-based buyout shop for about $70m, but talks collapsed during due diligence. Shortly after that, LexisNexis cut its asking price for Applied Discovery to basically half of the $95m that it originally paid for the company, but a second source indicated that the unit still didn’t generate much interest. The reason? Many would-be financial buyers are put off by the lumpy business in the e-discovery sector. Sales are typically driven by investigations or lawsuits, which can make it difficult to predict. Meanwhile, among the strategic buyers, many of the large information management vendors – including Autonomy Corp, Iron Mountain, Seagate and EMC, among others – have already announced acquisitions of e-discovery players.