Media M&A Activity Surged in 2005

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After four slow years, media and information industry mergers and acquisitions rebounded to total $56 billion last year, surpassing 2000's $49.3 billion.

Last year saw 525 deals, investment bank Jordan, Edmiston Group Inc. said in a report released yesterday. Deal activity rose 13 percent for the year while deal value skyrocketed 87 percent. Breaking down the sectors:

* Business to business: The number of deals rose 10 percent while the value increased 42 percent.

* Consumer magazines: The number of deals fell 8.1 percent but the value of deals climbed 472 percent.

* Database information services: The number of deals dropped 7.5 percent and the value decreased 40.6 percent.

* Directory and reference publishing: The number of deals was up 26 percent while the value shot up 246 percent.

* Exhibitions and conferences: The number of deals rose 44 percent while the value increased 128 percent.

* Marketing and interactive services: The number of deals gained 30 percent while the value was up 42 percent.

* Newsletter publishing: The number of deals fell 40 percent while the value decreased 24.9 percent.

* Newspaper publishing: The number of deals moved up 7 percent while the value jumped 72 percent.

* Online media: The number of deals gained 38 percent while the value rose 101 percent.

The top transactions by value in 2005 were: R.H. Donnelley Corp.'s acquisition of directory and reference publisher Dex Media for $4.2 billion; the $2.3 billion acquisition of Yellow Brick's directory business by a consortium led by Macquarie Capital Alliance Group; Yellow Pages Group's purchase of Advertising Directory Solutions Holdings' directory and reference publishing business for $2.07 billion and IAC/InterActiveCorp's $1.85 billion deal for Ask Jeeves.

Chantal Todé covers catalog and retail news and BTB marketing for DM News and DM To keep up with the latest developments in these areas, subscribe to our daily and weekly e-mail newsletters by visiting

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