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Media M&A activity continues dismal performance

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New York—The mergers and acquisition market for the media, information, marketing services and technology sectors remained “moribund” in the first half of this year, with 300 transactions valued at $5.4 billion, according to data released Wednesday by media investment bank Jordan, Edmiston Group.

The number of transactions declined 29.6% from the same period last year, while deal value declined 76.2%.

The b-to-b media sector was especially anemic, with just six deals in the first half, down 45.5% from the year-earlier period. The combined value of this year’s first-half deals, $17 million, was down 95.0%.

Exhibitions and conferences posted a similarly dismal performance, with the number of deals declining 28.6% to 20 and the value plunging 82.6% to $78 million. Database and information services provided something of a bright spot, with the number of deals increasing 11% to 20. The combined value, $327 million, fell 95.5%, heavily impacted by Reed Elsevier’s $4.1 billion deal for ChoicePoint that took place in the first half of 2008.

Despite the weak M&A data from this year’s first half, Jordan, Edmiston said in a news release that it “has seen a definite uptick in M&A activity over the past weeks, as sellers adjust expectations and buyers regain confidence.”

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