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M&A Scorecard: February 2006



By Bill Mickey
01/26/2006

DECEMBER 19
Buyer: AGI Events
Seller: Royal Productions
Sale Price: $15 mill. est.
Revenue Multiple: N/A
The deal behind the deal: Ventura, California-based AGI Events, a division of recreation-focused event producer Affinity Group Inc., purchased 12 events in the boat, home and garden, RV and camping markets from Royal Productions, Inc. AGI already has shows targeting RV, boat, motorcycle, snowmobile, ATV, golf and ice fishing markets. Affinity, producing revenues in the $500 million range, also owns recreation publisher Ehlert Publishing and completes its assets with affinity groups and services.

The acquisition led to the creation of the AGI Events group within Affinity.

The acquisition triples Affinity's event holdings to18, spread across eight cities. Westport, Connecticut-based Corporate Solutions represented Royal Productions in the deal.

Our panel says: "Smart. That's exactly the way for them to be growing their business."
"They certainly have the resources. They're the natural buyer for these products."

DECEMBER 12
Buyer: Prism Media Business
Seller: Boston Aviation Services
Sale Price: $10 mill. est.
Revenue Multiple: 1.5X

Buyer: Prism Media Business
Seller: Primedia Inc.
Sale Price: $15 mill. est.
Revenue Multiple: 1.5X

The deal behind the deal: Freshly renamed Prism Business Media, formerly Primedia Business, an operating company under private-equity firm Wasserstein & Co., announced two bolt-on acquisitions in late December;Boston Aviation Services and Ward's automotive properties.

The sale of PBI to Wasserstein in May 2005 was largely viewed as an opportunity for add-on purchases. These two deals fit that profile. The Ward's properties, however, were originally kept by the enthusiast half of Primedia when the company essentially split in two with the sale of the b-to-b side by KKR to Wasserstein.

The Boston Aviation Services assets being placed under Prism's Information Data Products Group include The Air Charter Guide, The Executive Traveler Edition and The Cellular Pilot. New York-based media banker DeSilva + Phillips represented BAS in the deal.

Our panel says: "I'm impressed they've made the acquisitions so quickly, that they're being aggressive buyers. It's a clear signal there's a lot more to come."

"It shows that Prism is going to be one of the more active buyers in 2006. Here they come back in just a few months and they're already starting to do additional add-ons."

JANUARY 11
Buyer: UBM
Seller: Shorecliff Communications
Sale Price: $12.3 Million
Revenue Multiple: 2X

Buyer: UBM
Seller: MediaLive
Sale Price: $65 Million
Revenue Multiple: 1.5X

The deal behind the deal: CMP Media parent United Business Media continued its recent series of acquisitions (Informex, Black Hat) with tech event producer Shorecliff Communications and the event division of MediaLive.

The MediaLive deal will add more than 20 IT and telecom-related events spread across the U.S., Japan and Europe. MediaLive ran the once-mighty Comdex, which was shuttered in 2004 in an effort to reposition the IT event.

Shorecliff gives CMP another four events in the RFID, broadband services, wireless infrastructure and telecoms television/Internet protocol television. Revenues in 2006 from the two acquisitions are expected to be $40 million and $6 million respectively. The Jordan, Edmiston Group represented Shorecliff in the transaction.
Our panel says: "Their strategy is becoming very clear. They're building the event and online categories. Now that they've made five or six transactions it's pretty clear how they're trying to supplement the magazine business."

"They seem to be natural acquisitions. Not dramatic, but strategic buys."

JANUARY 11
Buyer: Ascend Media
Seller: Eaton Hall Exhibitions
Sale Price: $1 million Revenue Multiple: 1X

The deal behind the deal: Ascend Media, backed by private equity heavyweights J.P. Morgan and Veronis Suhler Stevenson and led by president and CEO Cam Bishop, picked up the Food and Safety Summit from Eaton Hall Exhibitions;just in time for its next show in March in Las Vegas. After 18 percent growth in 2005, attendance in 2006 is expected to be 2,200 with 250 exhibits.

The Food and Safety Summit will be managed by Deerfield, Illinois-based food, beverage and packaging media company Stagnito Communications, which falls under Ascend's Food & Beverage Division.
Our panel says: "This is not a big-time commitment."

"Ascend has been quiet since Medical World. That was a large deal for them, so maybe now they're ready to move on and do small, fold-ins."

Buying? Selling? Know someone who is?
Submit M&A related tips and news to senior editor Bill Mickey at bmickey@red7media.com.

By Bill Mickey
01/26/2006







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