Blog Post

Five Media Deals I’d Like To See Happen In 2010

Ken Sonenclar is a managing director at DeSilva + Phillips, LLC, a New York investment bank specializing in media.

This brutal year in M&A is mercifully winding down. The global credit squeeze, deep recession, and shrinking valuations have kept deals in check. But with the economy rebooting and many big media and tech companies sitting on piles of cash, conditions are ripe for striking big deals next year. Here are five deals that would go a long way towards lifting us out of the deal-making doldrums — and also help reshape the media sector in important ways.

Microsoft (NSDQ: MSFT) should buy Research in Motion: Last year, desperate to battle Google (NSDQ: GOOG), Microsoft nearly dropped $45 billion on Yahoo (NSDQ: YHOO). For those old enough to associate

8 Responses to “Five Media Deals I’d Like To See Happen In 2010”

  1. rodrigo romero

    besides clear channel outdoors google should buy rim, linkedIn and facebook the later 2 for understandable reasons, and RIM…well, this is the best buy ever, i’ve post a lot about this before but it is true, each one has what the other lacks.

    RIM: suretype, surepress, pushtechnology, cryptology, security, BBM, HUGE MARKET, base hardware, base OS and base app market.

    Google: simple OS (android), great webkit browser (chrome), webapp way of presenting all applications hence OS independent and an OS aware of that (chromeOS on it’s way), googledocs, google finance, google contacts, google mail, google voice, google talk, googlemaps (with latitude and lots of geolocation tools), dns, robust dbase, cloud computing with 99% uptime, datacenters everywhere, more investment in R&D, Search engine.

  2. Pete Downton

    In music I'd like to find a Private Equity Firm to fund an MBO whereby the authors & performers signed to all majors labels buy back their rights. Perhaps then we might finally see an end to all the madness……

  3. Great propositions except I take issue with the recommendation that Google buy Clear Channel.

    With no transparency in Google's online ad auctions, can you reasonably expect transparency in another kind of auction? Their so-called auctions fatten Google's pockets and ravage marketing budgets of smaller companies and start-ups.

  4. John Loken

    At first I thought the author — an i-banker — would have misplaced incentives to write such an article. But the acquisitions mentioned seem to be driven by strategic analysis, e.g. cost-saving access to new channels/products/customers, more than pursuit of profit. If executed properly many would lead to incremental margin.

    Re Google/Clear Channel, why stop with billboards? Why not also acquire the radio network and truly "own" the out-of-home vertical with both physical real estate and hundreds of millions of consumers in their cars.

  5. I agree with the first two as well. Moreover, with Google's latitude platform, the ability to target the passing soccer mom with those billboards is a no brainer. Also, to auction off billboard space based on time, location and price would transform that industry and open it up to many more advertisers.

    I'd also agree with No. 3 if Ted T can pull it off. He should have never given it up.

    I disagree with LinkedIn. They are profitable and growing. I think they'll be making some targeted buys possibly in the ad platform, event/evite-like technology, geolocation networking (e.g, loopt, brightkite), or travel-related space. Lots of sub 25 million targets out there for LinkedIn to buy and incorporate into their platform.

  6. John C. Smith

    I love the idea of Ted Turner buying NYT and CNN, but he's sadly too old to make it happen. He also lacks the $, the pull/power, and credibility.

    Bloomberg is your only hope.