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M&A Scorecard | June 2008



By Jason Fell
06/01/2008

April 24
Buyer: CondéNet
Seller: SFO Media
Sale Price: N/A
Multiple: N/A

The deal behind the deal: Condé Nast’s digital arm, CondéNet, has acquired SFO Media, publisher of travel blogs HotelChatter.com and Jaunted.com.

According to CondéNet president Sarah Chubb, the SFO acquisition “increases our travel footprint and adds to our portfolio a group of sites for advertisers who target an active, passionate and upscale consumer.”

The blogs, which currently draw just less than one million visitors per month, will operate as standalone brands. SFO Media founder Mark Johnson was to join CondéNet and continue to run the sites as senior director.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Our panel says: “Through its digital division, Condé Nast continues its ongoing spree of thoughtful online acquisitions, highlighted even more recently by the purchase of tech site Ars Technica for Wired Digital. This deal makes sense and confirms the company’s strong digital reach.”


April 29

Buyer: HMP Communications
Seller: Princeton Media
Sale Price: N/A
Multiple: N/A

The deal behind the deal:
In an attempt to broaden its footprint in the medical information and education fields, HMP Communications—headed by president and CEO Paul Mackler—acquired Princeton Media Associates. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

As part of the transaction, Princeton’s Managed Care-First Report brands will combine with HMP’s Annals of Long Term Care and Clinical Geriatrics brands, forming the Managed Care and Long Term Care division, which will be operated from HMP’s headquarters in Malvern, Pennsylvania. HMP’s subsidiary North American Center for Continuing Medical Information will merge with Princeton’s medical education division and relocate operations to Millstone Township, New Jersey.

Private equity banker Berkery Noyes represented Princeton Media Associates in the deal.

Our panel says: “Mackler is clearly looking for more scale for his company and appears to be doing a good job of growing quickly. This looks to be a very synergistic, great ad-on deal.”


May 11

Buyer: Manhattan Media
Seller:
Atlantic Media (02138)
Sale Price: N/A
Multiple: N/A

The deal behind the deal:
Irreverent Harvard alumni lifestyle magazine 02138 was sold to Manhattan Media, a community newspaper publisher that also owns Avenue magazine.

The deal came after weeks during which Worth publisher Sandow Media had been thought to be the front-runner in acquiring 02138. While Sandow came up short in the negotiation process it managed to hire away 02138 executive editor Richard Bradley to serve as Worth’s editor-in-chief.

The owners of Atlantic Media planned to increase 02138’s frequency from quarterly to six times per year in 2009, as well as to roll out similar magazines for all eight Ivy League universities. It’s so-called “Ivy League Media” will also launch social networking Web sites for each of the schools and a live events division.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Our panel says: “02138 is a complementary acquisition to Manhattan Media where they can cross-sell to their current readership. It is also a great property to begin building an Ivy League niche media platform.”


May 15

Buyer: CBS
Seller: CNET
Sale Price: $1.8 billion
Multiple: N/A

The deal behind the deal: By far the largest deal in the last several weeks, CNET Networks were purchased by CBS for $1.8 billion in cash—a 45 percent premium over its closing stock price. The deal comes after months of CNET trying to avoid a hostile takeover by hedge fund consortium Jana Partners.

Among the CNET properties in the deal are Web sites CNET, ZDNet, BNET, GameSpot.com and CHOW. According to CBS CEO Les Moonves, CNET Networks will add “a tremendous platform to expand our complementary entertainment, news, sports, music and information content to a whole new global audience.”

The deal marks the largest so far in CBS’ Internet expansion.

Our panel says: “This represents a good outcome for CNET and, if the post-acquisition integration is successful, CBS may have picked up a real bargain. This acquisition will no doubt put the combined entity solidly on the list of the top 10 Internet properties. There simply aren’t very many digital media properties of this size that come up on the market.”

By Jason Fell
06/01/2008







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