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Yahoo’s Former M&A Chief Surfaces At Advance Publications

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Andrew Siegel, the Yahoo (NSDQ: YHOO) M&A chief who announced late last month that he was leaving, is now taking the top M&A job at Conde Nast parent Advance Publications. His title will be senior vice president, strategy and corporate development, and the company says in a statement that Siegel will “help us take advantage of attractive growth opportunities in the media space.”

Advance has not been acquisitive at all over the last two years, as it has concentrated instead on trying to improve the performance of its existing businesses. The last high-profile acquisition I could find in our archives was its purchase of Ars Technica in May 2008 for $25 million. Kourosh Karimkhany, the corporate development executive who led that deal, as well as a slate of smaller ones, was laid off in November 2008.

Advance did announce today, however, that it was selling under 10 percent of its holdings in Discovery Communications (NSDQ: DISCA) to Discovery for $500 million. In a statement, Advance president Donald Newhouse said the company’s goal was to “take a small percentage of our investment in Discovery and diversify into new acquisitions and investments that will hopefully turn out to be as meaningful.”

At Yahoo, Siegel presided over a number of smaller-scale deals, including the acquisitions of Maktoob, Citizen Sports, and Associated Content, turning around a long period during which the company was very inactive on the M&A front. He was not however able to clinch several acquisitions that could have changed the company’s staid reputation. Yahoo tried unsuccessfully over the last year to purchase both Groupon and Foursquare.