Monday, July 18, 2005

Who is buying the B2B media companies?

I've been known to bemoan the rising influence of Wall Street in trade publishing. One of my favorite things about B2B media is that so many of our publications are smaller, family-run companies. Heck, even some of the big companies in B2B publishing are still family run.
I worry like crazy that the new breed of B2B media owners -- private equity firms and Wall Street bigwigs such as KKR, VSS and JP Morgan -- don't understand our industry or our culture.
Given that, I wasn't pleased to see a report from DeSilva & Phillips, which indicates that Wall Street deals dwarfed more traditional media deals last year. "The media companies — which collectively present informed opinion to the world — were subdued in the deal market. 'Subdued' is overstating it. In the magazine market, strategics accounted, altogether, for a mere 4% of the value of the DeSilva & Phillips Top 15 Deals — a record low."

You can see the report here, or read a piece about it in Folio.
There's also a piece here by David Shaw that points to a N.Y. Post article that indicates not all Wall Street investors are pleased with the B2B space. (FULL DISCLOSURE: The Post article is talking about KKR's investment in Primedia Business, where I was once the vice president of online content.)

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