BtoB Media Business - October 2011 - (Page 18)

M&A Assembling new assets RR Donnelley acquisitions boost products aimed at helping publishers enhance digital M&A BY MATTHEW SCHWARTZ ANALYST INSIGHT Dan McCarthy Partner, DeSilva & Phillips RR Donnelley & Sons Co., a printing services provider that dates back to 1864, has pulled the trigger on several deals this year that will help it transition to the digital age. The acquired companies provide a number of software publishing tools that Donnelley can now offer to publishers to create new online business models. ■ In September, Donnelley announced its acquisition of Genesis Packaging & Design, which provides custom packaging, design, printing and assembling services. ■ In August, it bought LibreDigital, a provider of digital replicas of publications and e-reading software, and Sequence Personal, whose custom publishing software enables readers to select content to be digitally produced as a specialized publication. ■ In March, Donnelley acquired Journalism Online, the company founded and managed by Steven Brill, founder of The American Lawyer and Court TV, and L. Gordon Crovitz, former Wall Street Journal publisher. Journalism Online helps media companies generate subscription revenue from their websites. Its Press+ system enables publishers to offer their audiences a blend of free and subscription-based content. Financial terms were not disclosed for any of those deals. Donnelley is focused “on providing the full suite of digital capabilities to their customers, and a big portion of their customers are publishers, catalog companies and a whole range of media and marketing companies,” said Scott Peters, co-president of Jordan, Edmiston Group, which represented Sequence Personal and Journalism Online in the transactions. “[Donnelley] is not only offering more efficient, cost-saving solutions but new and innovative revenue streams.” Donnelley could not be reached for comment regarding its acquisitions strategy. Sequence Personal, which will become part of Donnelley’s CustomPoint Solutions Group, provides strategies for creating editorial content, multichannel marketing, e-subscription models, selfserve direct marketing and custom publishing. “Sequence and RRD will bring significant new revenue and data collection opportunities to the publishing industry, while allowing for personalized content and one-to-one targeted advertising,” Peters said. “The combination of Sequence’s highly automated and efficient Anthology platform and RRD’s personalized printing capabilities will be a game-changer for publishers and direct marketers.” Peters said that Journalism Online’s technology will enable business publishers to control their own destiny online. “The Press+ platform allows publishers to optimize online subscription revenues without sacrificing traffic and online advertising,” he said. “This solution empowers the publisher to control the relationship with their subscribers both online and offline without having to give away or share their subscribers and data with outside vendors.” A roundup of recent mergers and acquisitions Date Property Description Provider of legal, tax and regulatory information Trade show serving higher-education market Producer of 15 trade shows Seller BNA JD Events Buyer Bloomberg 1105 Media 8/11 8/11 BNA School & College Building Expo George Little Management 8/11 Daily Mail and General Trust Focus Research Providence Equity Partners Ziff Davis Inc. 8/11 Focus Research Provides research to tech buyers and leads to IT vendors -to-b media veteran Dan McCarthy in August was named partner at media investment bank DeSilva & Phillips. Prior to joining D&P, McCarthy was CEO of real estate publisher Network Communications, and earlier served as CEO of Primedia Enthusiast Group. Media Business: What’s your outlook for b-to-b media M&A for the rest of this year and early 2012? Dan McCarthy: It will continue to be very active. There are increasingly motivated buyers, and there are sellers with good assets that want to be able to take advantage of the recovery in the market. MB: To what do you attribute the recent surge in b-to-b media deals? McCarthy: There are three factors. One is timing. There’s been an extended period of low activity in the marketplace, so there’s pent-up energy in the market. Second, there is more business-model validation. Companies have demonstrated that they’ve got tactics to address their market that create engagement and results with a profitable business model that can continue to be successful. Third is that, if you’re in an attractive market—a market that’s got scale, where you’ve got a demonstrated strong position— people have somewhat more confidence in the outlook for those markets. We’ve returned to a more normalized sense of how the economy will perform. It’s not necessarily going to be a robust recovery, but increasingly there’s more predictability about how markets will perform. —M.S. Three key factors driving deals B 18 | Media Business | October 2011 | M&A ACTION

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of BtoB Media Business - October 2011

BtoB Media Business - October 2011
McGraw-Hill Split Raises a Number of Questions
Who's Who in Business Publishing
Virtual Events are Moving Beyond the Booth
Sales & Marketing
Audience Development
How to Keep Up as B-to-B Media Transforms

BtoB Media Business - October 2011