B-to-b doesn't crack M&A top 20

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New York--There was not a single b-to-b media transaction among the top 20 largest media mergers and acquisitions in 2002, according to a DeSilva & Phillips report released Monday.

In 2001, five b-to-b media transactions landed in the top 20.

The absence of traditional trade magazine and trade show transactions from the list is “eloquent testimony to the dismal year in b-to-b media,” the report said. In 2002, there were 26 b-to-b publishing M&A deals, compared with 48 in 2001. The total value of those deals plummeted 82.7%, to $144 million in 2002 from $831 million in 2001.

Similarly, the number of trade show M&A deals fell to 9 from 18, and the value of those deals dropped 61% to $39 million, from $100 million in 2001.

The biggest b-to-b media transaction of the year was Reed Elsevier’s acquisition of Anderson Publishing, which specializes in legal information.

Several large potential M&A transactions were put on hold in 2002. For example, both Thomson Financial and Wicks Business Information were taken off the market when the lack of available financing made it impossible for buyers to meet an acceptable price.

--Sean Callahan

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