First Half Media Deal Values Plummet 65 Percent
Report: M&A activity flat; b-to-b, consumer magazines take big hit.
Online media and technology, and marketing and interactive, remained the two “bright spots” in an otherwise “cloudy” media M&A market for the first half of 2008, according to the Jordan Edmiston Group’s first half overview, released today.
According to the report, the total number of media, information, marketing services and related technologies transactions reached 404, up 1.8 percent from 397 during the same period in 2007. Deal value, however, plummeted 64.8 percent to $23.2 billion from $65.8 billion last year. Trade magazine deal values were down 85.1 percent and consumer magazines fell 81.8 percent.
The number of deals in the marketing and interactive services sector reached 144, up 24.1 percent from 116 from the first half last year, while online media and technology deals grew 21.7 percent (140) over last year (120), according to the release. The 290 transactions between the two sectors accounted for 72 percent of total deal volume so far for 2008.
Value-wise, the sector that saw the most dramatic decline was educational and professional publishing (-98.6 percent), which saw half as many deals in the first half of 2008 compared to 2007. Activity in exhibitions and conferences declined in both number of deals (-26 percent) and value (-13 percent) during the first half.
The period’s top five transactions, according to JEGI, were Reed Elsevier’s $4.1 billion acquisition of ChoicePoint; Hellman & Friedman’s $2.4 billion acquisition of Getty Images; CBS Corp.’s $1.7 billion acquisition of the CNET Networks; Taylor Nelson Sofres’ $1.4 billion acquisition of GfK; and AOL’s $850 million acquisition of London-based global social media network Bebo.