BTB Magazine Deals Climb 60 Percent

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Business-to-business magazine publishers had a busy first half of 2004.

A merger-and-acquisition tracking study covering the media and information sector found that the number of BTB magazines changing hands rose 60 percent from January to June compared with the same period last year. The combined value of the 16 deals announced so far this year is $1 billion, an 821 percent increase from the year-ago period.

The study was conducted by investment banking firm Jordan Edmiston Group Inc., New York.

The deals included United Business Media's acquisition of MediMedia, Centaur Holdings' purchase of Centaur Communications and Pfingsten Publishing's deal for Advanstar's art group.

Merger-and-acquisition activity for the media sector as a whole climbed 26 percent, thanks to strong performances from database services, newsletters and online properties, in addition to BTB magazines.

Database services experienced a 114 percent increase in the number of deals, with the total value up 327 percent versus the same period last year. Newsletters saw a 100 percent rise in deal activity, with the value up 149 percent. Online media underwent a 36 percent increase in deal activity, with the value up 1,045 percent.

Consumer publishing activity was slow in the period, as the number of deals for consumer magazines fell 33 percent.

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