Consolidation Stressed at ‘Growth’ Conference
JEGI: Big media should make 'strategic buys,' 'pointed divestitures.'
NEW YORK—One point repeated by speakers Thursday during the Jordan, Edmiston Group’s Growth Conference here at the Four Seasons Hotel was the need for consolidation at most media companies—including magazine publishers—before they can grow.
During a “State of the Capital Markets” presentation, GE Commercial Finance president and CEO Michael Chen said he is a proponent of consolidation. “Consolidation makes stronger companies," he said. "Their assets can then be picked up at reasonable prices.”
JEGI managing director Tolman Geffs, during the “State of the Industry Address,” said that the retooling of major media companies, including magazine publishers, is necessary for survival in these “difficult” economic conditions. Companies will need to both acquire and consolidate, he said, meaning they will need to make “strategic, high growth buys while making pointed divestitures.”
While big media deals aren’t getting done, Geffs—with fellow JEGI managing director Scott Peters—predicted that online consumer and b-to-b, database and information, mobile and interactive marketing companies will likely bE the big growth areas to watch out for in the coming months.
Geffs and Peters identified CNET, Yahoo and Walt Disney as some of the biggest strategic buyers over the last several months. Strategic deals, they said, have been "keeping the M&A market alive."