Media M&A activity on the rise

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New York—Media mergers and acquisitions activity picked up in the third quarter, according to a report released Wednesday by media investment bank DeSilva & Phillips.

There were 29 M&A deals in the quarter, up from 28 in the third quarter of 2003. The total value of the transactions more than doubled to $792 million, from $392 million.

For the first three quarters of this year, the value of deals increased 64% from $920 million (excluding the $1.5 billion recapitalization of American Media) to $1.507 billion.

"There is a very nice view in the rear-view mirror, but we like the view ahead even better," the report said.

Investcorp’s $350 million acquisition of Thomson Media last week is one of several deals that have already brightened the fourth quarter.

"The climate for M&A has dramatically improved and we expect to see a number of high-profile deals consummated in the last quarter [of 2004]," the report said.

—Sean Callahan

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