Media and Information M&A Activity Headed for a Record; 500 Deals YTD

Media and information M&A activity remained vibrant through the third quarter of 2006. Overall 493 M&A transactions were completed for the period, representing a 24% increase over 2005 levels, across the 11 media and information industry sectors tracked by The Jordan, Edmiston Group, Inc. (JEGI). Media and information industry deal activity is on track to far surpass the record levels set in 2005, when 508 transactions were completed. Overall deal value is relatively flat year-over-year, as fewer “mega-deals” were transacted in the directory and online media sectors, such as last year’s $1.8 billion acquisition of Ask Jeeves by IAC.

The Online Media and Marketing & Interactive Services sector saw the completion of 131 and 116 transactions, respectively, for the first three quarters of 2006, representing 50% of total media and information deal activity. Some representative transactions include: NBC Universal’s acquisition of iVillage; MTV Networks’ (Viacom) acquisition of Atom Entertainment; and Reader’s Digest purchase of AllRecipes.com.

JEGI's recent successful closings include the sale of: Aberdeen Group to Harte-Hanks; United Business Media’s CMP Entertainment Media to the Wicks Group of Companies; Yoga Journal to Active Interest Media; and Thomson’s Peterson’s to Nelnet.

Besides the online media and marketing services sectors, other sectors contributing to the rise of M&A activity through Q3 2006 include: consumer magazines (number of deals up 16%); database information services (number of deals up 31%); exhibitions and conferences (number of deals up 17%); and newsletter publishing (number of deals up 19%).

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