Magazine M&A activity picks up

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New York--First-quarter merger and acquisition activity for magazine publishers was up slightly compared with the same period last year, according to Whitestone Communications, an M&A firm that specializes in publishing.

"The first quarter showed the start of an increase in the deal pace we had predicted in the magazine field for 2004," said Sharon Sevrens, managing director. Sevrens said she expects buyers will make more deals as magazine advertising picks up and publishers report better results. She also acknowledged that recovery is "slow in coming."

The number of deals for trade magazines, trade shows and consumer magazines was 14 in the first quarter of 2004 vs. 11 in first quarter of 2003. Trade magazine deals totaled eight and were valued at $33 million vs. six deals valued at $29 million in first quarter of 2003.

Whitestone said newsletter M&A activity also showed a slight uptick in the first quarter.

--Carol Krol

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