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M&A activity slow in this year's first half

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M&A volume and value in the media, information, marketing, healthcare and technology sectors fell in the first half of this year compared with the year-earlier period, according to Jordan, Edmiston Group's “First Half M&A Report.” The year got off to a slow start, as expected, following a rush of deal closings at the end of 2012 ahead of impending tax law changes, according to the report. This year's first half saw 708 transactions announced, a 2% dip from 723 deals in the first half of 2012. Deal value in the five sectors totaled $27.8 billion, down 19% from $34.3 billion in the first half of 2012, according to data from the JEGI Transaction Database. Jordan, Edmiston's report noted that one deal—Alibaba Group's buy-back of 20% of its shares from Yahoo for $7.1 billion in 2012—skewed the figures. If that transaction is excluded, deal value in this year's first half rose 2%. The Marketing & Interactive Services sector accounted for almost a third of the number of deals announced and about 25% of the total transaction value. Education Information, Technology & Training saw a 341% surge in deal value, due largely to BC Partners' $4.4 billion acquisition of a majority stake in Springer Science & Business Media in the second quarter. The B2B Online Media and Technology sector saw a 26% decline in the number of deals, with the deal value plummeting 97%, primarily due to the Alibaba-Yahoo deal. Deal value in the Business-to-Business Media sector jumped 128%, with several transactions topping $10 million. The number of deals totaled 15, up from 14 in the first half of 2012. Among the major media deals in this year's first half were Catalyst Investment Managers' acquisition of Reed Business Information Australia for $42 million and Euromoney Institutional Investor's $25 million acquisition of financial publisher Insider Publishing.
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