Number, value of publishing deals up from last year

NEW YORK: Both the number and value of global publishing mergers and acquisitions have increased on a like-for-like basis from January to August 9 of this year, compared with 2012.

NEW YORK: Both the number and value of global publishing mergers and acquisitions have increased on a like-for-like basis from January to August 9 of this year, compared with 2012.

The collective global value of publishing deals was up 189.3% year-on-year to $19.4 billion, according to the Mergermarket Group, which recorded statistics through its research team.

The number of announced publishing mergers or acquisitions around the world has also increased by 33% to 86 deals, compared with 64 last year.

In the US, 23 publishing deals took place from January through August 9, nearly the same number as the 22 that happened in 2012. However, the value of the US deals in 2013 was more than double that of last year, coming in at $11.9 billion compared with $5.1 billion last year.

Europe has seen double the number of deals that took place last year, representing 40% of the value seen in the US. The continent has also seen 53 publishing companies targeted, which is 82.8% more than the same period of last year. Deal value increased 570.8% to $7.1 billion.

When it comes to market share of publishing mergers and acquisitions, European deals have 36.5% share compared with 15.8% in 2012, while the US deals' value dropped this year to 61.2% from 77.3% last year.

Monique Lewis, head of technology, media, and telecommunications for Mergermarket in the Americas, said that publications need to focus on switching from print to digital revenues. 

B-to-b publications, which “tend to be already serving a niche audience that is willing to subscribe” to the content will become even more attractive in terms of mergers and acquisitions if they embrace digital, she added.

Lewis said that b-to-b media company Advantage Business Media, which acquired Reed Business Information's new product division in 2006, saw 90% of its revenue from print seven years ago and 10% from digital. Today, the company is about half digital and half print, and its goal is to earn 80% digital advertising revenue by next year.

This story was updated on August 27 with comment from Mergermarket. 

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