M&A Activity Slows in 2nd Quarter, But Number of B-to-B Deals Increases
Mergers and acquisitions activity among publishing, information and training companies fell off during the second quarter of 2008, according to M&A firm Whitestone Communications, whose “Who’s Buying Whom” report tracks deals in these fields.
Still, the drop-off was not as a significant as might have been expected, said Whitestone Communications President Baran Rosen. “M&A activity has held up quite well, relatively-speaking, given all the talk in the media of the subprime crisis and its fall out,” he said. “Corporations and private-equity firms see the publishing, information and training sectors as good long-term industries, particularly the area of content-related businesses on the Internet. There is going to be a lot of growth here so while other industry sectors flounder, information continues to be relatively strong, however delivered.”
The number of second-quarter deals fell slightly against the same period of 2007, from 122 to 107. But the value of those deals was significantly lower, declining 79 percent from $33.2 billion to $7.1 billion. (To be fair, last year’s second quarter included a $17 billion acquisition of Thomson Corp. by Reuters.)
The consumer magazine category fell off sharply, down in number of deals from 10 to five, while trade magazines and trade shows saw the number of deals rise from 12 to 16.