First Quarter Media Deals Decline, Value Rises
Report: Consumer, b-to-b deals down, online media up.
Despite a “turbulent economic environment,” the value of media transactions in the first quarter of 2008 slightly surpassed activity during the same period in 2007, according to a report released by the Jordan Edmiston Group, Inc.
Across the 11 media and information sectors that JEGI tracks, there were 202 transaction announcements totaling $13.4 billion. Deal value was up 5 percent on roughly 2 percent fewer transactions than during Q1 2007.
The online media and marketing and interactive services categories combined for 143 of the 202 transactions so far this year—up from 119 in Q1 2007—including AOL’s $850 million acquisition of U.K.-based social networking site Bebo. The database information services category had high gains in deal value, topping $6.9 billion over 12 deals. That’s up from six deals in QI 2007, with a total value of $700 million.
According to the report, consumer magazine deal valuations during the first quarter declined 95 percent to $49 million (nine deals) from $975 million (22 deals) during the same period in 2007. Bonnier Corporation’s $200 million acquisition of the Time4 Media titles in March 2007 made up the much of that total value.
The number of b-to-b deals dropped from five to nine over the quarter, and deal value declined to $305 million form $634 during Q1 2007. 2008 has been “dominated by restructuring and smaller tuck-in acquisitions,” the report says.
While the number of deals in the exhibitions and conferences category were down (14 in 2008, 17 in 2007), deal values were up nearly 170 percent from Q1 2007, reaching $328 million. That was fueled in large part by private equity firm Veronis Suhler Stevenson’s February acquisition of U.K.-based Clarion Events from HG Capital for $234 million.