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Media M&A deals up in value, number

The number and value of merger and acquisition deals in the media and information industries were up significantly in 2004, according to reports released this month by two M&A firms. The number of deals in the sector totaled 394 in 2004 compared with 301 in 2003, a jump of 30.9%, according to media investment bank Jordan, Edmiston Group. The company calculated that the aggregate value of these deals increased 49.7% to $24.1 million, from $16.1 million in 2003. Whitestone Communications tabulated that the number of deals in the publishing, information, and training sector rose 11.8% to 349 in 2004 compared with 312 in 2003. The value of these deals jumped 33.3% to $12.0 billion, from $9.0 billion in 2003.

Observer AB buys Delahaye Medialink

Medialink Worldwide announced the sale of its research division, Delahaye Medialink, to Observer AB for $8 million in cash. Medialink said the sale would help it focus on its core marketing communications and media asset management business. Observer AB is a public relations firm based in Stockholm.

LexisNexis acquires Interface Software

Reed Elsevier's LexisNexis U.S. announced that it has acquired Interface Software, a provider of customer relationship management products for legal and professional services firms in the U.S., U.K. and Australia. Interface Software has been privately held. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

CMO Council expands operations to Europe

The Chief Marketing Officer Council announced its expansion into Europe, where it will seek to improve the practice and performance of marketing in the IT and telecommunications industries. The CMO Council is a nonprofit association of senior technology marketers that was founded in 2001. Its U.S. operations are managed by global consultancy GlobalFluency. The European CMO Council programs will be coordinated by GlobalFluency's U.K. operation. GlobalFluency's managing director, Ian McCann, has been appointed European director of the council.

Ascend Media agrees to buy Medical World

Ascend Media announced it has reached an agreement to acquire Medical World Communications. Financial terms of the deal were not released. Medical World publishes 50 medical, health care and trade publications and employs 350 people. It is headquartered in Monroe Township, N.J., and its titles include Physician's Money Digest and National Provisioner.

Telecom marketing investments up in '04

U.S.-based telecommunications service providers increased marketing investments for business wireline services by nearly 2% in 2004, according to the IDC CMO Advisory Service. The study found that while the U.S. business wireline services sector is projected to decline by 2.4% in 2005, marketing investment should continue to track upward as providers attempt to differentiate their services and introduce new voice and data IP services.

ThomasNet.com adds Business Service Center

ThomasNet.com, an industrial search engine created by Thomas Register, announced the launch of its Business Service Center. The new online destination provides information and guidance on business topics such as employee benefits, equipment financing, Internet marketing and freight services. For employee benefits, for example, ThomasNet enlisted Genworth Financial's employee benefits group to address frequently asked questions.

Burst! Media starts selling ads on blogs

Burst! Media, which provides Internet advertising services, has begun selling advertising on more than 20 blogs in its network of 2,000-plus Web sites. One of the first companies to launch advertising on the Burst!-repped blogs is Kyocera Wireless. Kyocera is running an online campaign, created by Media Revolution, for its Koi/KX2 wireless camera phone. The ads are running on blogs including Screenhead, Gizmodo and Defamer.

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