JEGI: M&A Activity to Date Surpasses First Nine Months of 2005
Dollar value of deals lags slightly behind, however.
The Jordan, Edmiston Group this week reported that M&A activity grew 23.9 percent in the first nine months of this year with 493 deals across the 11 media and information sectors it tracks, compared to 398 deals in first three quarters of 2005. The value of the deals, however, decreased 2.8 percent to $40.2 billion, from almost $41.4 billion in the same time period last year.
Adam Gross, vice president of marketing for JEGI, says the flat dollar value of the deal market is not a reflection of the strong deal market, which is on track to surpass the 508 total transactions the market saw last year. "Yes, deal value was flat year-over-year, but this can be potentially attributed to timing, because several very large deals could close in the fourth quarter, raising total value for the full-year 2006 above 2005 levels," he said. "Also, there were so many multi-billion dollar transactions in the directory sector in 2004 and especially in 2005, that deal size in this sector was bound to return to more normal levels in 2006."
The JEGI report goes on to show that while the number of consumer magazine deals are up (37 this year, compared to 32 last year), b-to-b deals are down (28 deals so far in 2006, compared to 36 in 2005). The dollar value of deals, however, is the opposite with consumer deals netting $1.4 billion, compared to $2.5 billion in 2005, and b-to-b taking in $3.3 billion in the first nine months of this year, compared to $1.8 billion in the same period last year.
Whereas the b-to-b deal market was strong in the first half of the year, the consumer market began heating up in the second half of the year with deals such as Primedia’s sale of its Gems group to Interweave Press, the sale of the Yoga Journal franchise to Active Interest Media, and the sale of Sporting News to Conde Nast parent, Advance Publications. Primedia sold its crafts magazine group in June for $132 million and the deal is expected to close in the fourth quarter. Several consumer titles are currently on the block, including 18 of Time Inc.’s enthusiast titles.
B-to-b publishers on the market include Ziff Davis, Highline, and Penton Media, which just closed its second-round bids.
Online and exhibitions & conference M&A activity has also increased in the first nine months of this year with 131 deals in online media, compared to 72 at this time last year; and 34 exhibitions & conference deals, compared to 29 last year.
M&A Activity January through September 2006 v. 2005
No. of Deals (2006)
No. of Deals (2005)
No. of Deals (% change)
Value (% change)
Business-to-Business Magazines <
Database Information Services
Directory & Reference Publishing
Educational & Professional Publishing
Exhibitions & Conferences
Marketing & Interactive Services