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Rise in media M&A activity forecast

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New York--After a two-year slump, mergers and acquisitions among U.S. media companies will pick up in 2003, according to a forecast by investment banking firm AdMedia Partners.

“A new convergence between buyer and seller expectations and a loosening of bank lending requirements will spur more deals, even if the economy doesn’t mount a strong recovery,” AdMedia President Robert Garrett said. “Sellers no longer expect the inflated prices of the late ‘90s, and buyers are willing to pay a little more to get value.”

Garrett predicted financial buyers will be the leaders of the expected new wave of buying, especially in the b-to-b publishing sector. “There’s a glut of private equity money looking for deals,” he said.

Garrett said trade shows and conferences, which have languished in the wake of Sept. 11, will probably not participate in any rebound in the M&A market.

--Sean Callahan

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