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Friday, September 30, 2005

B2B Media Acquisition Multiples 

Folio: Channels: Do Multiples (Still) Have Meaning?

Some windbag named Shaw blathers on about multiples and valuation in today's b2b M&A market, in the Folio: piece linked above. Who really uses the word "mitigated" in conversation?

Says Shaw: "...average multiples are pretty meaningless—the value is what a buyer thinks he can get out of a company." To this I would add: "Or what the seller is willing to pay."

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VNU pt. 2 

BtoB reports that the Wall Street Journal reports that VNU "may be mulling a sale of VNU Business Media"--among other moves--to placate investors leery of VNU's proposed acquisition of IMS. That was Sept 29.

This blog, on Sept. 6, speculated on The Deal's speculation, on the same thing, with a tip of the hat to IWantMedia.

This isn't quite the same thing as ripping off Rafat Ali's Paidcontent.org, but the Journal seems to be getting ever-slower in its media reporting. Perhaps the Journal should subscribe to The Deal?

Key grabs from the Journal:

There is still a lot of time before the VNU-IMS deal is set to be completed and it could go through without VNU making any concessions. VNU has said it aims to finalize the deal by the first quarter of 2006.

but

"The market is implying roughly a 50% probability of the deal closing, which is unusually low for an agreed deal," says Steve Schlemmer of Churchill Capital, a boutique brokerage firm specializing in mergers.

If VNU is forced by shareholders to make major changes in order to close the deal, the Journal thinks the sale of VNU Business Media could fetch $1.2 billion. BtoB notes that "The only likely strategic buyer is Reed Elsevier, offered one industry observer, who added that Reed has also spent the past five years limiting its reliance on advertising dollars, so the move might be viewed as a step backward by shareholders. Reed owns Variety magazine."

I wouldn't be surprised if VNU Business Media attracted the serious attention of Bob Krakoff and his Blantyre Partners, even though I think Blantyre's focus has been on buying Advanstar. And I would be less surprised if VNU was sold off in large market-focused chunks, which would make elements of the company more palatable (and digestible) to both strategic and financial buyers.

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Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Advertiser's Nightmare or Dream? 

bookofjoe: Why I am an magazine advertiser's worst nightmare

Found the above-linked post on Rex Hammock's del.icio.us feed, and it made me laugh.

The anesthesiologist who blogs at The Book of Joe identifies himelf as an advertiser's worst nightmare, someone who takes the time to remove all the cards and inserts from magazines, and:

Once in a while, when I'm in a particularly sporting mood, I go one step farther and go through the magazine page by page, carefully ripping out pages with ads on both sides.

According to Joe:

...all the tricked–out inserts — with their flickering headlights and sound effects and bubble wrap and scent strips and coasters and stickers and all — do is make it easier for me to find them en route to their one–way journey to the trash.

I'm sure Joe's glee is shared by advertisers. The time he takes to identify and toss all these ads--to actively engage the advertising, even in a negative way--is probably more time than the average reader spends with magazine advertising.

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Blog Search Update 

My mild paranoia about being excluded from Google's blog search was just that--paranoia. Since I haven't posted to this blog in a while, mainly due to a perfect storm of deadlines and family commitments (and perhaps a touch of sheer laziness), I checked out my last couple of posts, to help myself catch up.

As you might recall, I was strangely crushed to be unable to find this blog in Google's blog search beta a few weeks back.

Well, this blog is now included and searchable. Woo hoo.

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