Media company deals will get done but there are potholes ahead.
On a panel about dealmaking in the content space at the Future of Business Media conference, the consensus seemed to be that deals will get done, but the big fish will struggle with financing--especially if an acquisition depends on private equity or credit. Strategic acquisitions--think News Corp. and Dow Jones--will get done. And small deals will get done (see PaidContent take). Overall, deals are being stretched.
Here's a look at the macro economic scene, the credit crunch and deals. Since much of the Web 2.0 crowd is looking for an exit via an acquisition the comments are worth noting:
- David Levin, CEO of United Business Media, says transactions are "being stretched out and not being completed promptly."
- John Suhler, president of Veronis Suhler Stevenson, says "larger transactions have the added drama of financing." Suhler echoed Levin's take that deals are being stretched.
- Alan Meckler, CEO of Jupitermedia, says deals are to be had. He prefers smaller, high velocity deals such as his company's acquisition of Media Bistro. He's looking at 20 to 30 companies.
- Steven Rattner, managing principal at Quadrangle Group, says there are "plenty of deals out there." The problem: "Sellers still expect high prices," he says. "The adjustment process is just beginning."