Neal Vitale, CEO of 1105 Media, logged his fourth acquisition for the year in October. All told, 1105 has made nine since forming from the acquisitions of 101communications and Stevens Publishing in April 2006, which created a $75 million company.

October 1

Seller Sale Price Multiple
Bobit Business Media World of Special Finance N/A N/A

The deal behind the deal:
Bobit Business Media, a Torrance, California-based b-to-b publisher in the automotive, law enforcement and beauty markets, purchased the media platform of World of Special Finance, which includes the magazine of the same title, a conference and Web site. According to a statement, the deal was intended to strengthen Bobit’s position in the automotive dealer market. The 24,000-circulation magazine targets new and used-car dealers.

Our panel says: This is a deal that expands their automobile platform. A tidy multiplatform deal.

October 4

Buyer Seller Sale Price Revenue Multiple
1105 Media Education Plaza <$5 million est. N/A

The deal behind the deal: 1105 Media, a b-to-b publisher in the IT, industrial health, security and home healthcare markets, among others, bought Education Plaza, a Web-based buyer’s resource for K-12 administrators.

According to a statement announcing the deal, Education Plaza partners with state superintendents and school board associations-the site is a state-specific resource-to deliver its information on the education buyer’s community. 1105 plans to supplement the site’s state-specific product information with its own education-related resources in print, audio and video formats.

"The strategic acquisition of Education Plaza gives us another way to provide needed information to the education community," said 1105 Media Education Group publisher Wendy LaDuke in a statement. "It also offers our advertisers an additional opportunity to share information on their latest education products and services with key school district decision-makers."

Our panel says: A very good and strategic fit for 1105. They can tap that online marketplace for their advertisers.

October 4

Buyer Seller Sale Price EBITDA Multiple
Veronis Suhler Stevenson TRANZACT $185 million 10X est.

The deal behind the deal: Veronis Suhler Stevenson (VSS), a private equity firm in the media, communications, information and education industries, picked up Ft. Lee, New Jersey-based TRANZACT, a provider of customer acquisition marketing services for $185 million in cash.

VSS is buying the company from Halyard Capital and will continue to back the existing management team led by Marc Byron, chairman, and David Graf, president and CEO. Byron and Graf will remain major shareholders.
TRANZACT is an outsourced customer acquisition services provider primarily for large brands in the financial services and communications industries.

Our panel says: VSS pays a lot for new platform companies, so this was likely at 10- to 12-times EBITDA. BMO Capital Markets likely ran an excellent auction.

October 5

Buyer Seller Sale Price
EBITDA Multiple
Meredith Directive Corp. <$10 mil. est. N/A

The deal behind the deal: Meredith has bought Directive Corporation, a three-year-old Dallas-based provider of database strategy, analytics and customer asset management.

Directive is the latest in a series of acquisitions by Meredith to beef up its interactive marketing services. Other deals over the last 18 months include interactive marketing companies Genex and O’Grady Meyers; Web 2.0 marketing firm New Media Strategies; and the Web-based health search engine Healia.

"Many clients prefer to have a single source for their marketing needs, and the acquisition of Directive greatly enhances Meredith Integrated Marketing’s competitive position," said Meredith Publishing Group president Jack Griffin in a statement.

Our panel says: Directive’s database mainly holds subscribers to Meredith’s magazines. Meredith was in the driver’s seat on determining a price.

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