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Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Media M&A: VNU, Penton 

The Times of London has an interesting piece speculating on the potential bidders for VNU's European business media operations, including APAX Partners, Veronis Suhler Stevenson, Reed Elsevier, Telegraaf Media Groep, PCM and Walters Kluwer. Expected price: 500 million Euros or so (US$627 million).

Folio:'s Tony Silber reported (two weeks back) that the sale of Penton is now "winnowed down to four or possibly five serious players." Reputed bidders: Charles McCurdy's Apprise Media, Wassetrstein's Prism Business Media and several P/E firms. Click the link to read his analysis.

The NY Post's Keith Kelly also pits Wasserstein against McCurdy in the battle for Penton, (see second item) and notes:

Some industry observers are predicting a high-spirited auction that could fetch north of $500 million. Penton is said to have revenues of around $200 million and cash flow of close to $50 million.

(Not sure why Kelly is so snarky about business media: "Wasserstein...last year became the proud owner of such sterling titles as National Hog Farmer...." And I don't agree with his 'new age' characterization of Penton Media. But he's got a column in the Post and I don't.)

Penton's stock is up to 64 cents, a significant increase over the past few weeks.

(And yes, I still hold my shares in Penton--committed to wearing my financial hair shirt until the bitter end. It's still unclear whether a $500 million bid will be on the table--and if it is, whether there'll be any money paid out to common shareholders. If anyone has a calculation out there, post it in the comments section).

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