Media and marketing M&A market remains steady, but b-to-b sector falters

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New York—M&A activity remained healthy in the first quarter, according to reports issued by investment banks Jordan, Edmiston Group and Petsky Prunier. While the number of transactions in the first quarter fell 4%, to 244, compared with the year-earlier period, the aggregate value increased 16% in the same time frame, to $12.0 billion.

B-to-b media M&A activity in the first quarter was “nonexistent,” according to Jordan, Edmiston, with the number of deals falling 69% to four and the aggregate value tumbling 78% to $15 million.

The exhibitions and conferences sector also was slow, with the number of transactions falling 14% to six and the value of the deals dropping 2% to $34 million. B-to-b online media and technology, however, surged with the value of deals increasing from $462 million in the first quarter of 2010 to $2.8 billion in the first quarter this year—even though the number of deals fell from 38 to 23, a decrease of 39%.

Petsky Prunier's report examined activity in the marketing, information and digital media/commerce sector, a broader area than inJordan, Edmiston's report. Petsky Prunier said M&A activity in the first quarter increased to $24.4 billion, a gain of almost 200% compared with the year-earlier period. In the same time frame, the number of deals increased to 626 from 201.

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