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EXCLUSIVE-American Lawyer publisher up for sale -sources

NEW YORK, April 1 (Reuters) - American Lawyer publisher ALM Media, which was once controlled by Wall Street dealmaker Bruce Wasserstein, is exploring a sale that could fetch more than $500 million, people familiar with the matter said.

ALM Media, backed by private equity firm Apax Partners, has hired investment bank Jefferies to assist with efforts to sell the company, whose magazines are popular among U.S. lawyers and legal professionals, the sources said on Tuesday.

ALM, which sponsors conferences and owns legal and real estate publications and sites including the American Lawyer, Corporate Counsel, New York Law Journal and Law.com, was sold to Apax in 2007 for $630 million through the private equity firm's portfolio company, UK-based Incisive Media Ltd.

Apax later split up Incisive Media, keeping control of the ALM business while turning over the rest of the company to lenders including the Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc.

ALM Media generates about $55 million in annual earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization and could fetch about 10 times that amount, said the sources, who requested anonymity because the matter is private.

ALM Media, Apax and Jefferies could not be reached immediately for comment.

ALM, which in January 2005 changed its name from American Lawyer Media, was formed by U.S. Equity Partners LP, a private equity fund sponsored by Wasserstein & Co.

(Reporting by Olivia Oran and Greg Roumeliotis in New York; Editing by Soyoung Kim and Lisa Von Ahn)