Demand growing for data assets

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Despite a banner year for b-to-b media mergers in 2006, the appetite for business publishing is far from being sated, according to Jeff Reinhardt, managing director of media investment bank Berkery, Noyes.

"I still get the impression that there are a lot of people who still need to spend and increase their investments in b-to-b media," said Reinhardt, who joined Berkery, Noyes in October after serving as a senior VP at Prism Business Media.

Reinhardt said the brisk pace of mergers in b-to-b media won't let up as long as bank lending rates remain low.

As has been the case the last few years, private equity firms will continue to drive the mega b-to-b media deals while strategic players will stick with acquiring smaller assets in the trade show space and online, Reinhardt predicted.

Business publishers this year will also be in hot pursuit of data services and other "business intelligence" assets that can align with their print and online properties, Reinhardt said.

"B-to-b media companies need to be both deeper and broader in the marketplace, and [data services] allow them to do that rather than typically launching ancillary products," he said. "Data provides a more effective reach."

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