Overall media and marketing M&A grows, but b-to-b sector is 'uneventful'

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New York—Mergers and acquisition activity in the media, information, marketing services and technology sectors continued to grow in the first half of the year, according to data released by investment bank Jordan, Edmiston Group. The number of transactions in the first half totaled 484, up 3%, and the aggregate value of the deals surged to $23.3 billion, an increase of 15%. In the first half of the year, the marketing and interactive services sector had the largest aggregate deal value, at $5.7 billion, which was up 81% over the year-earlier period. The sector had the second highest total of deals at 129 (trailing only the 130 in the b-to-c online media and technology sector), which was down 1%. The business-to-business media sector was “uneventful,” Jordan, Edmiston said in a press release. The total number of deals dropped 65%, to eight, and the value of the deals plummeted 74%, to $23 million. Exhibitions and conferences showed more life, with the deal value increasing 184%, to $165 million; however, the number of deals slipped 8%, to 11. B-to-b online media and technology displayed significant strength, with the number of deals increasing 50% to 39 and the value of the deals up more than ninefold, to $3.1 billion. Jordan, Edmiston said the focus on deals in the interactive area is a simple reflection of where the growth is in media, information and marketing services. The firm pointed out, for instance, that spending on social network advertising will reach almost $3 billion this year. Traditional b-to-b media “is still going through a period of evolution,” said Scott Peters, co-president of Jordan, Edmiston, in an interview with BtoB. “Traditional b-to-b media companies are spending all of their time figuring out how to use the Internet in an effective way.”
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