First Half M&A Report: Consumer Magazine Market in Doldrums, But Surprising Increase in B-to-B Deals
Value, however, drops significantly.
Consumer magazine deals were all but non-existent in the second quarter, according to Whitestone Communications, a private equity firm that tracks media M&A activity.
The number of transactions in the second quarter—five—matched the first quarter, and the total value of the deals—$19 million in the second quarter, $27 million in the first quarter—were similar. But those numbers paled in comparison to 2007’s consumer magazine deal market, when 10 mergers were completed, totaling $1.7 billion. (That number, however, is skewed by Primedia’s sale of its Enthusiast Media group to Source Interlink for $1.2 billion.)
On the b-to-b side, there were 16 magazine or trade show deals, up from 14 in the first quarter and 12 in the second quarter of 2007. The total value of b-to-b deals dropped to $60 million from $249 million in the first quarter and $225 million in the same period last year.
“This part of the publishing world has not been getting the respect that areas such as Internet content have been getting,” said Whitestone managing director Ed Fitzelle. “People see the trade magazine and trade show models as kind of ‘old school’ with advertisers and exhibitors hunting out new ways to promote their companies on the Web.”
Fitzelle noted that the down valuations show that global “economic conditions are having an impact in the b-to-b world.”