Knovel Acquisition by Elsevier - Customer FAQ


1.    What is the scope of the deal?
Elsevier has purchased Knovel in its entirety. 
2.    Were there multiple bidders?
Yes, there were several.
3.    Why did Knovel investors decide to sell to Elsevier?
Knovel was not looking to sell and was aggressively investing in its business. We were approached by several potential acquirers because of the market’s growth potential and Knovel’s leading position. This presented an attractive opportunity to partner and grow the business much faster and more aggressively than we would on our own. Knovel investors and management believe that the partnership with Elsevier would benefit our customers, investors and employees to the greatest extent vs. other potential partners.
4.    How will Knovel customers benefit from this acquisition?
Knovel and Elsevier have a shared vision of delivering trusted answers to engineers at the point of need. At the same time the two organizations have a lot of complementary strengths. In due course, Knovel customers will benefit from expanded global reach as well as increased investment in the Knovel’s platform and its functionality. Elsevier can also expand Knovel’s content base through its high-quality pool of engineering content: proprietary engineering books and references, journals, patents, and datasets offering Knovel customer a one-stop-shop for a variety of technical information.
5.    What is the value of the transaction?
The financial details of the transaction will not be disclosed.
6.    Is the transaction finalized?
7.    When will the deal take effect?
Immediately, Knovel has now formally been merged into the Reed Elsevier group of businesses.

What will happen to Knovel?

8.    Will Knovel be integrated by Elsevier, or operate as an independent subsidiary?
Knovel will remain a distinct business that is run within the Elsevier organization.  Certainly, Elsevier will evaluate and seek out opportunities to leverage complementary or synergistic integration between the two companies that will unlock additional value for both Knovel and Elsevier customers.  Elsevier will also seek to maintain those operations and practices that Knovel has put in place which serve the business and customers very well.
9.    What is Elsevier’s intention for Knovel over the next 2-5 years?
Elsevier sees Knovel as a keystone business that will anchor its growth into the Engineering market.  Elsevier intends to not only maintain Knovel’s leading position through its core components of high-quality content, engineering-focused search, and engineering-specific tools.  Elsevier also wants to bring Knovel even closer to end-users and customers through expanding its content base, developing more workflow tools and making Knovel easily accessible in the international markets.
10.    What will happen to the Knovel brand?
The Knovel brand is well-known and well-respected by engineers, and its distinct identity within the Elsevier portfolio will be important to maintain its profile as an aggregator and engineering application.  Therefore we will continue to lead with Knovel branding and will evaluate how we can best maintain and build that brand further. 
11.    Will Knovel maintain its focus on the engineering community?
Yes. Knovel’s commitment to and deep understanding of the engineering segment is one of the main reasons for Elsevier’s interest in the company.  Knovel has established itself as a leader in addressing this audience and in developing engineering-specific functionality and tools in its product, and Elsevier fully intends for that to be maintained.
12.    Does the acquisition by a publisher mean that Knovel would lose its neutrality?
One of Knovel’s key features is its comprehensive, high-quality content.  Elsevier sees that comprehensiveness as a key component of any information offering, as reflected in many of Elsevier’s corporate solutions (e.g. Geofacets, Reaxys). Elsevier is fully committed to Knovel’s mission of delivering answers for engineers through the most trusted and comprehensive data, content and tools. To this end, Elsevier looks forward to continuing Knovel’s strong relationships with its existing third party publishing partners and to bringing new publishers and associations onboard.
13.    Is there a concern that other major publishers leave the Knovel platform?
Both Elsevier and Knovel believe the combined Knovel/Elsevier entity represents a more attractive value proposition for publishers.  Together, we will reach more users in more places and deliver more value through the provision of a wider base of application-oriented content. Third party content is an integral component of the Knovel offering, and that will not change.
14.    What will happen to the Knovel platform?
Elsevier expects to maintain and grow the Knovel platform so that it retains its leading position as an engineering application.  Elsevier believes that Knovel fits very well into the existing Elsevier portfolio and will be an additional offering to deliver value to engineers in industry and academia.
15.    What will happen to Knovel’s other engineering/math-centric product initiatives? (E.g. Equation library)
Many of Knovel’s product initiatives have been born from customer feedback and analysis of engineers’ needs.  Elsevier sees great value in continuing to pursue many of those initiatives, and continue working closely with customers to identify and build new ones.
16.    What will happen to the Knovel content acquisition strategy? Will the best-of-breed selection process be maintained?
Again, Elsevier believes that one of the things that makes Knovel unique is its broad, trusted content sourced from multiple publishers.  Elsevier will continue to seek out and provide data and content, from Elsevier or other publishers and partners, that will deliver answers that are useful to engineers and can help them solve their technical problems faster. 

Customers Support Functions

17.    Will customer support be integrated?  Who should I contact going forward?
We expect to offer the same level of customer support to you as before.  Please continue to reach out to your Knovel Sales or Customer Relations manager for the support that you need.  You can also continue to reach out to Knovel’s Customer Support group to address technical and account questions.
18.    Is my account manager going to change?
If you are a customer of Knovel only, please continue to leverage your current Knovel Sales or Customer Relations managers.  If you are a customer of both Elsevier and Knovel, you may notice that both your Elsevier and Knovel account managers may communicate collaboratively with you going forward.  We will always try to notify you in advance in case of any changes.
19.    Will I face disruption in the quality of service during the integration period?
No. We remain committed to delivering excellent levels of customer service. If you have any concerns please do reach out and share them with your current Sales or Customer Relations manager.
20.    Will the Knovel sales team start selling the Elsevier products?
For the time being, Knovel sales managers will remain focused on selling Knovel and servicing Knovel customers. If Knovel sales managers identify additional opportunities within their customer base, they will be able to work with their counterpart in Elsevier sales and offer other Elsevier products jointly. If you are interested to learn more about other Elsevier products please do not hesitate to utilize your Knovel sales manager as the first point of contact.
21.    Will Elsevier Sales team start selling Knovel?
Again, you may see collaboration between Knovel’s and Elsevier’s sales representatives.  But Knovel sales managers and customer relations managers will remain focused on selling Knovel, while Elsevier’s sales force will sell the Elsevier portfolio of solutions. If Elsevier sales team identifies opportunities to sell Knovel within their customer base, they will work with their Knovel sales counterpart to jointly make the offer.  If you are interested in learning more about Knovel please do not hesitate to use your current Elsevier account manager as the first point of contact.
22.    Will Knovel continue working with the same partner network internationally?
Knovel will continue working with many of the same partners internationally.  We will continue to optimize the already strong Knovel partner network to penetrate and grow in the international space where it makes sense to do so, based on Elsevier’s global sales footprint. 


23.    Will Knovel start offering a price structure that is similar to Elsevier’s? (E.g. perpetual model, individual e-book sale)
There are currently no plans to modify Knovel’s business and pricing models.  Knovel is an engineering application that caters to the needs and use-cases of engineers in design, process, production and other engineering functions.  This audience and its use-cases are fundamentally different from researchers and organizations that purchase a variety of Elsevier solutions which may have different pricing models.
24.    What will happen to my current contract with Knovel?
Your current contract with Knovel remains in place.  When your contract comes up for renewal, it is likely that the Knovel terms and conditions will be modified to account for Elsevier’s ownership of Knovel and Elsevier’s policies and approaches to certain issues.  We believe these changes will be minor in general.   
25.    I purchase both Knovel and ScienceDirect now.  Why should I continue to buy both if I’m now going to be buying more of the same content twice?
Knovel is an application that delivers answers to engineers in design, process, production and other engineering functions.  ScienceDirect is a platform delivering full-text research journal and book content to researchers and scientists.  The audiences for the two platforms and the use-cases for those audiences are fundamentally different.  As such, the value and experience delivered by Knovel is different from the value and experience that ScienceDirect delivers, even if the same title or content might sit on both platforms.  Therefore, we believe that customers will continue to find great value in subscribing to both offerings.
26.    Who can I speak to in more detail about the implications of the merger?
Please contact your account manager to learn more details.
27.    When will I hear more?
We are committed to regularly communicating with Knovel customers through Account Managers as well as Knovel regular communications channels. We will be sharing progress and status of the integration as well as information on new releases and enhancements to Knovel.