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      MERGERS AND ACQUISITIONS UPDATES FROM BERKERY NOYES

    Entries in Mary Jo Zandy (23)

    Monday
    May152017

    TRANSACTION ACTIVITY IN THE B2B INFORMATION SEGMENT UNDERGOING A SIGNIFICANT INCREASE

    According to Berkery Noyes’ Media and Marketing report for Q1 2017, industry deal volume underwent a two percent uptick over the past three months. Aggregate value fell from $145 billion to $15.8 billion.

    Of note, two of the industry’s top three highest value acquisitions last year occurred in Q4 2016. This included AT&T’s announced acquisition of Time Warner for $105.3 billion, or $85.4 billion if net debt is excluded. If the Time Warner deal is omitted, value decreased 59 percent, which was about the same decline in value when examined on a year-over-year basis.

    Total volume in the B2B Publishing and Information segment increased 33 percent in Q1 2017. This made it the sector with the largest rise in volume over the past three months. High profile B2B related deals in Q1 2017 included Gartner’s acquisition of CEB Global, a corporate research and advisory firm, for $3.3 billion; and Solera Holdings’ acquisition of Autodata Limited, which provides technical information to the automotive aftermarket, for $422 million.

    Other notable B2B transactions during the quarter were Vitruvian Partners’ acquisition of OAG Worldwide, a provider of flight status and scheduling information, for $215 million in a management buyout from AXIO Data Group; Zoopla Property Group’s acquisition of Hometrack, a provider of residential property market insights and analytics, for $152 million; and Dun & Bradstreet’s acquisition of Avention, a multi-channel platform that offers business information and sales enablement solutions, for $150 million.

    As for other select markets covered in the report, volume in the Internet Media segment increased 18 percent on a quarterly basis. Internet Media also nearly surpassed the Marketing segment as the industry’s most active sector in Q1 2017. The Exhibitions, Conferences and Seminars segment saw volume improve ten percent, which followed a 48 percent rise in Q4 2016. Deal activity in the Consumer Publishing segment fell 22 percent in Q1 2017 but remained about constant year-over-year.

    “Companies that offer events, subscription-based data offerings and/or marketing services, are likely achieving growth and are attractive to both strategic and private equity acquirers,” said Mary Jo Zandy, Managing Director at Berkery Noyes. “New acquirers such as TBG AG, a Zurich-based family office that just announced the acquisition of DTN, the U.S. real-time weather service to the agricultural sector, enter to create a dynamic M&A market. Large strategics’ divestitures of non-core properties and private equity timely exiting portfolio companies, coupled with private company sellers, have fueled this sellers’ market.”

    Tuesday
    Mar012016

    HIGHER-ED MEDIA AND TECH DEAL ACTIVITY DRIVES INCREASE IN EDUCATION VOLUME

    Berkery Noyes’ Education report for full year 2015 revealed that transaction volume improved 26 percent on a year-to-year basis. Aggregate value rose 52 percent, from $11.68 billion to $17.75 billion. The industry’s most active strategic acquirer in 2015, either directly or through an affiliated business, was Bertelsmann with four transactions.

    Bertelsmann acquired Redilearning, an online learning company that serves the senior care sector; Academy Medical, a provider of continuing education content for various healthcare providers; YoBoHo, a digital media company that specializes in creating original content for children; and Alliant International University, a network of five California-based professional schools.

    The Higher-Ed Media and Tech segment experienced a 68 percent increase in volume, making it the sector with the largest yearly gain. Notable acquirers in the segment included Cengage Learning with the acquisition of Pathbrite, a web-based portfolio tool that allows students to store their completed coursework; The Gordian Group with the acquisition of Sightlines, a provider of facilities benchmarking data and expertise; and Leeds Equity Partners with the acquisition of Campus Labs; a software platform for colleges and universities to make data driven decisions ranging from accreditation to student retention to effective operations.

    “Private equity firms are increasingly being drawn to the education and training sector, given the sheer scale of the market, the favorable lending environment, and the increasing number of companies that are growing with subscription based revenue models in the space,” said Peter Yoon, Managing Director at Berkery Noyes. “The largest area of activity in 2015 was in the corporate and professional education space as the need for continuing education and workforce development continues to expand while technology has improved the delivery and efficacy of instruction.”

    “The increased deal value derived importantly from the significant participation of strategic acquirers in 2015 deal activity,” said Mary Jo Zandy, Managing Director at Berkery Noyes. “A combination of content with technology yielded the highest transaction value premiums. Despite the recent turbulence in the capital markets, we expect the growing usage of technology in education and training to secure high transaction values in 2016.”

    Friday
    Nov062015

    EDUCATION DEAL VOLUME AND VALUE SURGES IN THIRD QUARTER 2015

    According to Berkery Noyes’ Education report for third quarter 2015, the number of deals increased 34 percent, from 91 to 122 transactions. Aggregate value rose 45 percent, totaling 6.8 billion in the third quarter. In terms of valuations, the median revenue multiple decreased from 2.4x to 2.0x, while the median EBITDA multiple declined from 11.5x to 10.3x.

    The industry’s largest strategic transaction in third quarter 2015 and year-to-date was TPG Capital and Leonard Green Capital Partners’ announced acquisition of Ellucian, which provides higher education software, services and analytics, for $3.5 billion. Ellucian also made an acquisition earlier in the year with Helix Education’s learning management system (LMS) in the second quarter. Providing some more historical background, Hellman & Friedman acquired SunGard Higher Education from SunGard Data Systems for $1.8 billion in 2011. This resulted in a merger under a new holding company with Datatel, which was rebranded as Ellucian.

    As for the combined Professional Training Technology and Services segment, volume increased 48 percent on a quarterly basis, from 29 to 43 transactions. In terms of high profile third quarter deals relating to the continuing medical education (CME) sector, Premier acquired CECity.com for $400 million; Wolters Kluwer Health acquired Learner’s Digest International for $150 million; and Relias Learning acquired Academy Medical

    “Close to 90% of K-12 education spending in the U.S. is funded by state and local governments,” said Peter Yoon, Managing Director at Berkery Noyes. “Partially spurred on by the recession, and as the state and local budgets continue to recover, administrators are becoming more open to utilizing technology based solutions to effect outcomes in a cost-effective manner. Investors, in turn, have realized the secular change transforming the sector and have dramatically increased investment in the space.”

    “The education sector has been very active of late,” stated Mary Jo Zandy, Managing Director at Berkery Noyes. “In particular, companies that are online and digital are the most attractive acquisition candidates. Many companies are readily available to be acquired by private equity firms as well, which can borrow on attractive terms to purchase them.” Zandy continued, “It’s also worth noting that the education market seems to be bifurcated. Anything that has growth is selling for a nice multiple. But trying to sell a publisher that is print only is challenging and although print is still widely used in the classroom, the long-term trends favor digital content, data analytics, and assessment tools.”

    Thursday
    Jul232015

    INTERNET MEDIA VOLUME OUTPACES ALL OTHER INDUSTRY SECTORS IN FIRST HALF 2015

    Berkery Noyes’ Media and Marketing report for first half 2015 revealed that deal volume saw a three percent uptick on a half year basis, from 841 to 863 transactions. Total value fell 31 percent, from $52.72 billion to $36.48 billion.

    The highest value deal in first half 2015 was Verizon Communications’ acquisition of AOL for $4.13 billion in the Internet Media segment. Internet Media also had the largest half year increase in volume, rising 25 percent. Regarding specific Internet Media subsectors, there was a 36 percent rise in the online classifieds marketplace, from 47 to 64 acquisitions. One of the largest related deals thus far in 2015 was CoStar Group’s acquisition of Apartment Finder for $170 million.

    Marketing transaction volume underwent a four percent increase in first half 2015. In addition, deals in the digital marketing subsector represented 45 percent of the segment’s overall activity in first half 2015.

    Japanese advertising company Dentsu was the overall industry’s most active acquirer with nine transactions year-to-date. High profile Marketing deals in first half 2015 included GTCR and Adams Outdoor Advertising’s acquisition of Fairway Outdoor Advertising for $575 million; Red Ventures’ acquisition of Pitney Bowes’ marketing services business, Imagitas, for $310 million; and Solera Holdings’ acquisition of DMEautomotive, a provider of marketing solutions for the retail automotive industry, for $143 million.

    Deal activity in the Exhibitions, Conferences, and Seminars segment saw a twelve percent improvement, from 43 to 48 transactions. Also of note, private equity backed deals in the segment nearly quintupled between second half 2014 and first half 2015, from four to 19 acquisitions. The segment’s largest transaction in first half 2015 was the acquisition of Cirque du Soleil by an investor group led by TPG Capital for $1.2 billion.

    “Many media and marketing companies are looking for acquisitions to enhance their growth,” said Mary Jo Zandy, Managing Director at Berkery Noyes. “They are also making investments in those areas where their clients are spending the most money and where they can sell their services at a premium. M&A activity is robust due to the high stock market valuations and the low cost of financing transactions.”

    Monday
    Apr202015

    MEDIA AND MARKETING VOLUME SLOWS AFTER AN ACTIVE END TO 2014

    Berkery Noyes’ Media and Marketing report for Q1 2015 showed that transaction volume decreased 11 percent in Q1 2015. This followed a 16 percent rise in Q4 2014. Total value declined 35 percent over the past three months, from $24.1 billion to $15.6 billion.

    Of note, eight of the industry’s top ten largest deals in Q1 2015 were based outside of the U.S. The industry’s largest transaction during the quarter was Verisk Analytics’ acquisition of Wood Mackenzie. The data analytics and research firm, which focuses on the oil, gas, and mining market, was acquired for $2.8 billion. This marked an exit for private equity firm Hellman & Friedman, which acquired Wood Mackenzie in 2012 for $1.1 billion.

    The Marketing segment saw volume remain flat for the fourth consecutive quarter. Marketing deals represented one-third of aggregate volume in Q1 2015, nearly the same percentage as in Q4 2014. It also retained its position as the industry’s most active sector, slightly surpassing the Internet Media segment. The largest Marketing deal year-to-date was Dalian Wanda Group’s acquisition of Infront Sports & Media AG for $1.1 billion. The international sports marketing company offers an array of services such as media rights distribution, brand development, and event sponsorship.

    After almost doubling in Q4 2014, the Exhibitions, Conferences, and Seminars segment stayed about constant in Q1 2015, with a total of 25 transactions. The highest value deal in the segment during the quarter was Providence Equity Partners’ acquisition of Clarion Events for $307 million.

    Total volume in the B2B Publishing and Information segment decreased 25 percent on a quarter-to-quarter basis. This followed a 24 percent rise in Q4 2014, which was its peak throughout the past five quarters. Notable deals in the B2B segment during Q1 2015 included Nielsen’s acquisition of eXelate, a data technology company in the programmatic advertising space, for an estimated $200 million and Dun & Bradstreet’s acquisition of NetProspex, a B2B data services and data management provider, for $125 million.

    “Many B2B media organizations are seeking to capture a larger share of marketing spend by providing a host of services to their clients,” said Mary Jo Zandy, Managing Director at Berkery Noyes. “As B2B media create new product and service offerings, their clients – the B2B marketers – continue to divert a growing share of their marketing budget to new marketing services. These offerings are a means to augment revenue.”