According to a study by investment banking services firm JEGI, 2005 proved to be a robust year for M&A amongst the media and information industries, reaching levels not seen since the initial dotcom apex in 2000. JEGI reports that 2005 saw 525 deals totaling $56 billion in value across 11 key sectors, the most notable of which included online media (up 38% in deals; 101% in value) and marketing/interactive services (+30%; +42%).
Much of the added value can be attributed to major diversified media companies including Gannett, New York Times, Dow Jones and News Corp rapidly acquiring fast growing online content and delivery channels to offset pressure on their traditional media product. According to JEGI Managing Director Tolman Geffs, the forecast for 2006 looks fairly similar, if not more promising. “We expect a steady to upward M&A market in 2006, driven by continued consolidation in traditional media, rapid growth in online advertising, and investments in interactive growth by the major diversified media players.While the market grew very nicely in ’05, buyers remained largely disciplined and careful, and we expect that approach to help extend this market cycle in a healthy way.”