Dollar value of media M&A deals drops sharply in '08 Dow Jones buys database of private European firms Cygnus Co-CEOs Davis and O'Brien leave company Stagnito Media acquires Zweig White media group

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The dollar value of media, information and marketing services M&A deals declined 68% in 2008, falling to $33.3 billion from $104.4 billion in 2007, according to a report issued this month by Jordan, Edmiston Group, a media investment bank. The number of M&A deals fell less precipitously, dipping only 13% as the number of deals fell to 758, from 872 in 2007. Tolman Geffs, a managing director at Jordan, Edmiston, noted that deal activity remained brisk in growth sectors, such as database information services, which saw a 77% increase in the number of deals, with deal value nearly tripling to $8.8 billion. Dow Jones & Co., a division of News Corp., announced it has acquired the database assets of Library House, a Cambridge, U.K.-based provider of data on emerging private companies in Europe. “With the addition of the assets acquired from Library House, we are solidifying Dow Jones VentureSource's status as the world's most comprehensive and accurate research tool for monitoring developments in the venture capital industry,” Clare Hart, president of Dow Jones Enterprise Media Group, said in a statement. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. Cygnus Business Media Co-CEOs Carr Davis and Tony O'Brien resigned from the company, effective Dec. 31. Cygnus, which is owned by private equity firm ABRY Partners, expects it will be sold early this year and as a result its debt load will be lessened. In the meantime, Cygnus is being run by Charles Carnaval, a director at Zolfo Cooper, a consulting firm specializing in interim management. Stagnito Media announced it has acquired the media group of Zweig White Information Services. The media group's assets include CE News, Structural Engineer and the Best Firm to Work for Summit. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. Stagnito Media was formed by Harry Stagnito, Kyle Stagnito and Kollin Stagnito, who most recently managed Stagnito Communications.
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