Private Equity Returns to Magazine Buying

first_imgBasketball hall of famer Magic Johnson might not have acquired Johnson Publishing’s Ebony and Jet, but the overall market for magazine-related M&A deals was certainly active during the first quarter of 2010.  According to media investment bankers the Jordan, Edmiston Group, there were approximately 20 magazine M&A transactions through mid-March.“The mix was completely reversed, as consumer magazine deals accounted for 85 percent of total magazine deals in Q1 2009, but accounted for only 23.5 percent of total magazine deals in Q1 2010,” says JEGI CMO Adam Gross.What has been most notable, says Gross, is that private equity returned to the market as buyers of magazine assets during the quarter. Private equity groups over the last several months have absorbed mind-boggling losses as a growing list of publishers—including the Reader’s Digest Association, Source Interlink, Cygnus Business Media, and others—were forced into bankruptcy and their PE owners handed over control to lenders, taking a wash on millions of dollars in investments.Some prominent examples of PE-fueled deals during the first quarter were Seguin Partners’ January acquisition of CFO from The Economist Group, Spectrum Equity-backed Canon Communications buying four properties from Reed Business Information and Boston Ventures-backed Northstar Travel Media picking up five brands from Nielsen Business Media’s travel group. Reed Phillips, a managing partner at media investment banker DeSilva + Phillips, says there still were a number of smaller, distress deals during the quarter, pointing to Dow Jones buying up Hearst’s 50 percent stake in SmartMoney as significant because it “makes a statement that they are dedicated to that magazine even in a tough economic environment.” The deal effectively gives Dow Jones full ownership of the magazine.What’s in Store for 2010On the heels of a massive economic downturn, one can only wonder if magazine M&A will continue to pick up steam through the rest of the year. JEGI is confident it will. Gross says the firm believes the M&A market for magazines in 2010 is likely to be more active than it was in 2009 and the second half of 2008.“Private equity firms are sitting on nearly $500 billion and are looking to put up that capital to work through acquisitions, and the banks should be more cooperative in helping PE firms leverage their deals,” he says. Gross believes that large, global corporations will continue to divest the trade and consumer magazine assets they own that don’t fit within their core markets. He also thinks privately-held companies—whether owned by entrepreneurs or PE firms—that have been sitting on the sidelines also should come to market “as valuations improve and the buyer pool increases in line with a stronger economy.”“Add to this,” he says, “the fact that large, global corporations are holding unprecedented levels of cash on their balance sheets (S&P 500 companies have nearly $800 billion), and you can see why we anticipate a vibrant M&A market for magazines and other traditional and interactive media and information assets in 2010.”last_img read more

Towns Current Bidding Contract Opportunities

first_imgWILMINGTON, MA — The Town’s Purchasing Department currently has the following bidding and contract opportunities available:Request For Proposals/QualificationsNoneInvitations To BidTraffic Improvement Project — Federal Street at Middlesex Avenue — Deadline: Wednesday, October 10, 2018, 10amRedevelopment of (15) Gravel Packed Wells at Brown’s Crossing Wellfield — Deadline: Wednesday, October 24, 2018, 10amAll interested parties must first complete the town’s Bid Registration Form.Visit the Town’s Purchasing Department website for additional information. Contact Wendy Martiniello at wmartiniello[at] with questions.Like Wilmington Apple on Facebook. Follow Wilmington Apple on Twitter. Follow Wilmington Apple on Instagram. Subscribe to Wilmington Apple’s daily email newsletter HERE. Got a comment, question, photo, press release, or news tip? Email this:TwitterFacebookLike this:Like Loading… RelatedTown’s Current Bidding & Contract OpportunitiesIn “Government”Town’s Current Bidding & Contract OpportunitiesIn “Government”Town’s Current Bidding & Contract OpportunitiesIn “Government”last_img read more

Delayed payments hit small medium Indian manufacturers hard

first_imgIn the office of the small paint factory he helps run, Pramod Patel is clear on the problem holding back India’s manufacturing growth: cash, or a lack of it.Clients, he said, are taking months to pay, sometimes 150 days as compared to the standard 30, choking up businesses like his “Reliable Paints” and hampering the creation of much-needed jobs.”We have a lot of potential in our business, but we have no confidence in the payments,” Patel said. The workers around him prepare paint to be decanted by hand into cream and grey coloured cans.While there is no comprehensive data for the cash cycle of India’s manufacturing industry, manufacturers interviewed in the industrial heartland of Gujarat have said that cash is moving at a glacial pace.They reported that clients delaying payments, sometimes for the best part of a year, is evidence of an uneven recovery and of India’s credit drought as banks tackle $100 billion of troubled loans.Central bank data shows that loans to medium-sized industrial companies were down 10% by mid September, compared to the start of the financial year in April. Loans to small companies dropped more than 3% in the period.Under Prime Minister Narendra Modi and former Chief Minister of Gujarat, India, has sought to improve life for manufacturers. He wants to boost a sector that accounts for under one-fifth of the economy, compared to one-third for China — the world’s largest manufacturer.But, the reality on the ground is tough.Even India’s industrial bellwether, Larsen & Toubro, has reported deterioration. Chief Financial Officer R Shankar Raman has said that payments take around 100 days after they fall due, compared to a standard 60-75 days.That is hovering around the longest payment period in over a decade, he added.”MADE IN INDIA”India badly needs manufacturing to fuel its recovery and create jobs. After all, India will be home to a working age population of 900 million people by 2020, roughly one-fifth of the world’s potential workers.Modi’s government has promised to make it simpler to operate in the country, with plans for a unified bankruptcy code, a unified goods and service tax, and more flexible labour laws. Last week, it lifted restrictions on foreign investment in 15 sectors, including defence.But, this part of Gujarat — a state that was ranked top in a World Bank-supported study on the ease of doing business in India’s 29 states — manufacturers have said that the smallest and weakest among them could be pushed to the wall, unless reform is implemented and recovery arrives swiftly.A plethora of different taxes still wrap small firms like “Reliable Paints” in red tape. Others have reported battling outdated factory rules: some are fined for a lack of spittoons, for example, in areas where spitting on the floor is forbidden.There are signs of hope. L&T’s Raman said that he expects the numbers to hit the bottom, provided promised government spending kicks in and banks pass on lower rates.”The way the recovery is structured right now, it is not broad based,” said economist Sonal Varma at Nomura. However, government spending could improve cash flows even for smaller firms within 6 to 12 months, she estimated.Gujarat, for one, has pushed taxes online, cutting down on the paperwork and opportunities for corruption, and manufacturers have said that that had made processes smoother.But, until reforms come in, the bureaucracy is overhauled and real spending starts, factory managers in this baked corner of Gujarat – where paints, pumps and engineering parts dominate production – have said that their clients will continue to struggle.last_img read more