Modest growth just ahead?

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Media Business: How do you see the media M&A market shaping up for the first quarter of 2011? Fitzelle: I don't have great expectations, but I don't have negative expectations. While I don't expect things to go back to the 2008 conditions, if the economy through the end of the year can hold on to the gains it has made, we will be in good shape going into 2011 and continued modest growth is possible, especially in key sectors like technology, food and manufacturing. MB: Do you think UBM's purchase of Canon Communications for $287 million is a harbinger of other major b-to-b media deals? Fitzelle: I think it is. Whether or not the financial reward and return was significant, I don't know, but I believe there was some money made by the sellers. That tells you that we are at the point where you can make a successful exit from an investment in the b-to-b marketing and information area. Hopefully, we have seen an end to the type of deals like Nielsen and Reed Business Information made, in which they just folded their hands and walked away. The Canon deal tells us that going forward deals can be predicated on the idea that there are assets you want to own because over time they will perform and generate profits and positive cash flow.
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