Record-Breaking Media Mergers/Acquisitions in First Half of 2007

July 2, 2007

This article is included in these additional categories:

Business of Marketing | Local & Directories / Small Biz | Magazines | Media & Entertainment | Newspapers | Out-of-Home

The media and information industries M&A market set new record highs with 399 transactions announced totaling $76 billion in deal value in the first half of 2007 across 11 media and information sectors tracked by New York-based investment banking firm The Jordan, Edmiston Group, Inc. (JEGI).

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This first half tally already exceeds full-year 2006 deal value of $60.6 billion by 25%, JEGI said.

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The marketing services and online media sectors dominated the first half’s action, together accounting for 238 transactions valued at $32 billion – or more than half of all media and information deals, and over 40% of total deal value:

  • First half transaction value of $31.8 billion has already surpassed full-year 2006 results in these sectors by 20%.
  • In all, the top 10 online media and marketing services transactions in the first half of 2007 totaled over $24 billion, accounting for 77% of total deal value for these sectors.

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  • The top 10 online media and marketing services transactions also accounted for approximately 33% of total deal value across all media and information industries.
  • Also, the top five online media and marketing services transactions were among the 10 largest media and information industry transactions overall.

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Major online media and marketing services transaction announcements in the second quarter of 2007 included Microsoft’s acquisition of aQuantive for $5.7 billion, Google’s acquisition of DoubleClick for $3.1 billion, and the acquisition of 24/7 Media for $649 million by WPP.

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Other Key Sector Performances:

Business-to-Business Magazines

Led by the $1.1+ billion acquisition of Advanstar by Veronis Suhler Stevenson, the business-to-business magazines sector surpassed first half 2006 levels in first half 2007 by 14% in number of deals and 13% in deal value.

Other noteworthy second quarter B2B magazine transactions included Ziff Davis Media’s sale of its Enterprise Group to Insight Venture Partners, the acquisition of Wicks Business Information by Summit Business Media and the acquisition of True North Custom Publishing by Sunshine Media.

Consumer Magazines

M&A activity was robust for the consumer magazine sector in the first half of 2007, as deal activity increased 19% and deal value more than tripled to over $2.7 billion.

Accounting for more than half of total deal value were two high-profile transactions in the second quarter: Primedia’s sale of its Enthusiast Media division to Source Interlink Companies for $1.2 billion, and the sale of Dennis Publishing to Quadrangle Group for a reported $250 million.

Database Information Services

The database information services sector saw fewer, but much larger, transactions in the first half of 2007 versus the first half of 2006.

Deal value exploded with the largest announcement of the first half: Thomson’s $18+ billion planned acquisition of Reuters Group. Other noteworthy second quarter transactions included Informa’s acquisition of Datamonitor for over $1 billion.

Educational & Professional Publishing

The educational and professional publishing sector is having a healthy year, with 16 completed transactions valued at more than $10 billion.

Noteworthy second quarter transactions included the second-largest deal of the year – Thomson’s sale of Thomson Learning and Nelson Canada to Apax Partners and Omers Capital Partners for $7.75 billion – as well as Wolters Kluwer’s sale of Wolters Kluwer Education to Bridgepoint Capital for over $1 billion,- and Reed Elsevier’s sale of Harcourt Education to Pearson for nearly $1 billion.

Exhibitions & Conferences

For the first half of the year, deal activity was up significantly in the exhibitions and conferences sector, increasing 46% over first half 2006 levels. However, transaction value decreased, as there were no large scale deals in this sector in the first part of the year.

Several noteworthy consumer-event deals took place in the second quarter of the year, including an investment by Guggenheim Partners in Festival Network, the $37 million acquisition of AVP by Shamrock Holdings, and Expomedia Group’s $32 million buyout of Homebuyer Events.

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