Mergers and acquisitions in b-to-b media fell off dramatically in the first quarter of 2011, down to four deals compared to 13 deals in the first quarter of 2010, according to the Jordan Edmiston Group’s first quarter M&A report. Deal value for b-to-b media topped out at $15 million in the first quarter, compared to $66 million in the same period last year.
Meanwhile, consumer magazine M&A saw an uptick with seven transactions valued at $1.4 billion in the first quarter, compared to just four transactions at a value of $20 million during the same time last year. Notable M&As include Hearst Corporation’s acquisition of Lagardere’s mag portfolio for $651 million, according to the JEGI report (though this deal is not officially done, with the close expected in third quarter). Apax Partners purchased the Trader Corp. division of Yellow Media for $745 million.
Compared to the first quarter in 2010, JEGI’s 2011 Q1 report saw a 39 percent decrease in “B-to-B Online Media and Technology” transactions, falling from 38 to 23 deals. However, the deal value was six times those of deals in the first quarter of 2010, rising from $462 million to $2.8 billion. In the “B-to-C Online Media & Technology” M&A category, deals were up from 60 to 78, valued at $3.4 billion, an increase of 30 percent. The first quarter transactions were led by AOL’s acquisition of Huffington Post for $315 million and GSI Commerce’s acquisition of Fanatics for $277 million.
“Exhibitions and conferences” had six M&As in the first quarter of 2011, worth $34 million, down from seven deals worth $35 million in the first quarter of 2010.