M&A activity continues to recover

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New York—The pace of mergers and acquisitions in the broad media, information and marketing technology sectors continued to improve in the third quarter compared with the year-earlier period, according to reports issued by two investment banks.

The number of M&A deals in the media, information, marketing services and technology arena increased to 651 in the first three quarters of this year, a 42% increase compared with the year-earlier period, according to Jordan, Edmiston Group. The aggregate value of these deals increased 95% to $32.9 billion.

The average deal size of $51 million has been comparatively small so far in 2010, relative to 2007, for example, when the average deal size was $120 million, Jordan, Edmiston said. The number of deals in b-to-b media increased to 33, a 200% increase, while the value of the deals jumped to $470 million, more than an eightfold increase. A single deal—United Business Media’s pending $287 million acquisition of Canon Communications—accounted for more than half the aggregate value.

A report by investment bank Petsky Prunier found that the number of M&A deals in the marketing, information and digital media/commerce arena totaled totaled 200 in the third quarter, up 27% from the year-earlier period. The value of the deals increased 41% to $10.7 billion.

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