Media bankers Jordan, Edmiston Group said this week that mergers and acquisitions activity closed out 2006 with 637 transactions valued at more than $60 billion, representing increases of 18 percent and 12 percent, respectively, over 2005.
JEGI cited consolidation in the marketing and interactive services and online media sectors, and aggressive competition for acquisitions by private equity buyers as driving the M&A increases across the 11 media and information sectors the company tracks. Last week, media bankers DeSilva & Phillips tallied the dollar volume of the 2006 deal market at $20.5 billion, and tracked 151 deals in 2006, 22 percent higher than 2004’s record 124 deals and 36 percent above the average number of deals tracked over the past five years.
Although both the number of deals and deal values rose last year, most media had a mixed year. The number of b-to-b magazine deals, for example, fell from 46 in 2005 to 42 last year, but the value of the deals rose 140 percent, from $2.5 billion in 2005 to just over $6 billion last year. Consumer magazine deals were up 32.4 percent from 34 deals in 2005 to 45 deals in 2006, but the value of the deals fell from $2.5 billion to just under $1.9 billion last year.
Although the planned acquisition of Reader’s Digest Association by an investment group led by Ripplewood Holdings was the largest consumer deal of the year at $1.61 billion, JEGI included that deal in its consumer book deal analysis because of the company’s diverse properties, said JEGI Adam Gross, vice president of marketing for JEGI. Consumer books accounted for 10 deals in 2006, up from seven in 2005. The value of consumer books deals last year rose to $3.5 billion from just $49 million in 2005.
2006 Deal Activity by Sector
2006 No. of Deals
$ Value Millions
2005 No. of Deals
$ Value Millions
Percent Change Deals
Percent Change Value
Exhibitions & Conferences
Source: JEGI Transaction Database.