BtoB

M&A activity declines

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New York--Reflecting the continued softness in b-to-b print advertising, merger and acquisition activity for the first two months of 2003 in b-to-b magazines showed declines in both the number of deals and transaction value, according to figures released last week by the Jordan, Edmiston Group Inc.

The number of deals fell from seven in January and February of last year to two in the same period in 2003. Similarly, the value of deals fell from $126 million in the first two months of last year to $7 million in the same period this year.

M&A deals increased, however, in conferences and trade shows. Led by Cygnus Business Media’s acquisition of Penton Media’s Professional Trade Shows, the number of conference and trade show deals rose from five in January and February of last year to seven in the same two months of this year. The value of those deals increased from $35 million in January and February of 2002 to $48 million in the same two months in 2003.

The weakness in the advertising market has led many media companies to search for more stable subscription-based revenue models, which Jordan, Edmiston says has contributed to a rise in deals in database information services. The number of deals in this category increased from seven in the first two months of 2002 to eight in the same period this year, and the value of the deals jumped from $184 million to $372 million.

--Sean Callahan

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