It looks like a sellers' market

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Baran Rosen is president of media investment bank Whitestone Communications. Media Business: What are your expectations for the remainder of the year for the media M&A market? Rosen: It's been a terrific year, and the market has come roaring back. It seems like every company is available for acquisition. Business publishers' results are getting back to where they were before the recession. So with an upward trend in the business and good valuations, there's a sense that this is a good time to sell. MB: Do you think strategic b-to-b media players are going to be more active this year? Rosen: Yes. Their results have been better, and their stock prices are up. If you're trading at a multiple 15 times-to-25 times earnings, you can buy a business at 6 times-to-8 times earnings—and you can see an increase in share price as a result. The large strategic [companies] tend to follow the market; they're active when the market is strong but absent when the market is weak. MB: What are the types of interactive properties that hold growing attraction among buyers? Rosen: Companies that can track Web advertising and analytics types of firms. Buyers are [also] looking at companies that can provide communities that the buyers can build around. Anything that's a subscription data business delivered through the Web is going to be highly valued.
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