Media M&A Surges In Q3; Online Deals Worth $8.3 Billion: Report

A new report from media investment bank Jordan, Edmiston Group pegs the total value of media M&A during the third quarter at $95 billion, up 110 percent from $45 billion in the same quarter last year. In terms of volume, online media saw the most activity, with 232 deals worth $8.3 billion — up from 136 deals worth $5.7 billion last year. Large deals in this sub-sector included R.H. Donnelley’s $345 million purchase of Business.com and Disney’s (NYSE: DIS) $350 million purchase of Club Penguin.

Database information services had a big quarter from a dollar perspective, hitting $22 billion, up from last year’s $1.5 billion, although this was mainly due to Thomson’s (NYSE: TOC) $18 billion acquisition of Reuters (NSDQ: RTRSY). Volume actually fell from 35 to 22 deals, year over year.

Not surprisingly, all of the interest surrounding ad networks prompted a lot of activity in marketing and interactive services, with 182 deals worth $27.6 billion, up 48 percent and 76.5 percent respectively over last year’s numbers.

Not all sectors saw strong M&A growth. Business-to-Business publishing deals fell to $3.1 billion, a 15.8 percent slip. Newspaper publishing deals dropped 54 percent, although News Corp.’s (NYSE: NWS) $5.6 billion planned buyout of Dow Jones (NYSE: DJ) pushed the dollar amount up by 37 percent. Private equity weakness contributed to the slowdown in traditional media deals that will likely persist if credit market conditions remain weak. Release (.pdf).

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