The media and information industry has been through a particularly active first three quarters accumulating $52 billion in M&A deals according to New York-based media bankers Jordan, Edmiston Group, Inc. (JEGI)
, who have themselves rifled through 19 transactions to date.
The firm tracks transactions across 11 sectors.
That $52 billion represents an increase of 130 percent over same period last year, according to JEGI. The number of transactions increased, however, by only 4.3 percent.
The leader by far in transaction value increase was consumer magazines, up 590 percent to $2.5 billion over same period 2004;driven largely by Gruner & Jahr’s $350 million magazine dump to Meredith
and Abry’s $500 million acquisition of F+W.
Other sectors that increased include b-to-b magazines, up 9 percent in number of deals (35) and 59 percent in value ($1.8 billion); and online media, up 15 percent in number of deals and 147 percent in value. As with consumer magazines, online media’s value spike was due to a number of $100 million-plus deals, including IAC’s purchase of search site Ask Jeeves for $1.85 billion.
According to Adam Gross, JEGI’s vice president, marketing, the drivers behind the growth during the three quarters include “the convergence of traditional media and interactive media,” which, he says, are companies “looking for growth and looking for protection;defensive maneuvering.” Gross says that strong debt markets, liquid private equity, and strategics;done with cost-cutting and looking for growth;are also factors contributing to the increase in transactions this year.