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Incorporating business-to-business publications, trade shows, trade show services, & newsletters

Veronis Suhler Stevenson places a strong emphasis on serving the business-to-business communications community.

Mergers & Acquisition Environment

In 1998, transaction value in the business-to-business communications segment nearly doubled to $2.2 billion. This large increase was primarily due to heightened activity in the trade show segment coupled with strong growth in the traditional business magazine arena. The average revenue multiple was 2.7, while the average EBITDA multiple was 11.23.

The business magazine segment grew over 30% with $1.4 billion in transactions reported and over one-third of the transactions involved international properties. Major transactions include: the management buyout of Hearst Publishing Limited for $427 million, Penton Media's purchase of Mecklermedia for $268 million, the $208 million sale of Cowles Media to PRIMEDIA and VNU's purchase of MacFadden Trade Publishing for $80 million. A total of 29 transactions were reported.

It was a defining year for trade shows as transaction value surpassed $700 million, compared to $170 million in 1997. The markets exploded as buyers realized that trade shows were complementary to existing print operations and financially attractive due to the positive cash flow characteristics. Defining transactions in 1998 include: Informa Group's $328 million purchase of IBC Group, the purchase of MAGIC for $213 million by Advanstar and the sale of PGA of America to Reed Elsevier for $120 million. A total of nine transactions were reported.

Veronis Suhler Stevenson's Business-to-Business Communications Team

Handling the sale of business-to-business communications companies requires an awareness of the interests of a wide range of potential buyers, many of which are not obvious prospects. It also requires an understanding of which facets of the business can be rationalized in a combination with another media company.


We are experts in positioning and selling multi-product businesses. Media properties derive value from the ownership and licensing of copyrights, and through the exploitation of information franchises. In order to achieve the maximum value for a property, it has to be expertly positioned as a durable and growing media franchise which can be leveraged against the complementary assets and strategic goals of numerous potential media and financial buyers.

Through our wide-ranging relationships and insights into corporate strategies - built upon thousands of contacts in the media industry - Veronis Suhler Stevenson is uniquely suited to the task of creating strategic rationales to pique the interests of potential buyers which might elude the attention of a non-industry specific investment banker or a banker with less media deal experience.

To learn more about Veronis Suhler Stevenson's financial advisory services, contact:


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