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 last, according to reports issued Thursday 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 to $32.9 billion, a 95% increase.

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, which totaled 200, increased 27% in the third quarter compared with the year-earlier period. Similarly, the value of the deals, which totaled $10.7 billion, increased 41% in the same timeframe.

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