Value of media mergers and acquisitions plunges in Q1

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New York—The value of M&A deals in the media and information sectors fell to a record low in the first quarter, according to a report issued by media investment bank Jordan, Edmiston Group.

The deal value of $1.3 billion was the lowest that Jordan, Edmiston had recorded in more than 10 years of tracking M&A activity in the media, information, marketing services and technology sectors. The deal value plunged 90.5% compared with the first quarter of 2008, and the number of deals declined 35.8% to 129 in the same time frame.

The b-to-b media sector saw deal value plunge 98.8% to $5 million and the number of deals dip 57.1% to three.

In the exhibitions and conferences segment deal value fell 88.4% to $38 million, and the number of deals declined 42.9% to eight.

Jordan, Edmiston blamed the frozen credit markets, plunging advertising expenditures and general lack of visibility for the drop in overall M&A activity. “The valuation gap, the difference between seller expectations and buyer pricing, starting off the beginning of the year was pretty significant,” said Scott Peters, managing director of Jordan, Edmiston. Peters said the firm expected the valuation gap to decrease and deal flow to pick up in the third and fourth quarters of the year.

“We’re starting to see a bit of sunlight at the end of the tunnel,” he said.

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