Direct marketing M&A activity up 66% this year

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New York—Direct marketing industry mergers and acquisition activity was brisk in the first nine months of 2005, according to Petsky Prunier, an investment banker to the direct marketing industry.

A total of 351 transactions in that period totaled $38.5 billion in value, a 66% increase over the same period last year. Petsky Prunier said the median transaction during the first nine months of this year was $18.5 million versus $10.0 million during the same period in 2004.

Factors contributing to the surge include the demand for Internet marketing capabilities and corporations divesting noncore operations.

The largest marketing services deals were IAC/InterActive Corp., Barry Diller’s company, buying Ask Jeeves for $1.85 billion and Hellman & Friedman purchase of DoubleClick for $1.12 billion.

—Carol Krol

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