Does that mean multiples paid for smaller titles and companies will skyrocket? Not likely. Multiples will probably hover in the same range-four to seven times adjusted cash flow-even though demand is expected to tick upward. Buyers remain cautious, even skittish, and the smaller the deal, the more challenging it will be to close the transaction.Sweet Spot ScarcityMeanwhile, sellers with revenues between $10 million and $20 million with good earnings remain in a very strong position. However, acquisition opportunities in this sweet spot are scarce. Hence, the renewed focus on strategic acquisitions under $10 million. The operative word: Strategic. One caveat, however, is that deals at the lower end of the scale are most vulnerable to whims of the bank lending climate.If you are a publisher with revenues at the lower end of the spectrum, 2008 could be an optimum time to cash in your chips. Here are some of the factors buyers will be examining carefully-and which will have a big influence on whether your properties sell at the higher end or the lower end of the multiples scale:Content remains king. A superb editorial product serving a growing market continues to be a key factor in determining value. Buyers will be looking at content, in all its forms and iterations, as the avenue to enhancing brand awareness, market presence, and profits.A strong management team is vital. Buyers tend to leave top management in place and fund growth initiatives with a proven workforce.Well developed online initiatives. These will be valued in addition to targeting leading magazines in growing markets. Operating a magazine-based Web site is no longer enough. Buyers will measure value against the presence of a host of creative e-services that engage reader and advertiser alike. A successful events division will further increase value. The ideal acquisition candidate will offer the “Golden Trifecta” of communications: Print, online and events.Higher frequencies sell more frequently. Buyers favor print titles with publishing frequencies of monthly or greater. Less-than-monthly publications are viewed as less likely to command reader share-of-mind, even with strong Internet offerings.Numbers remain critical. One factor that won’t change in 2008 or any year is that deals of any size will be largely numbers-driven. Buyers will look closely at sales and earnings history, and although they will not pay a premium for future growth potential, they will indeed favor properties trending upward. Sellers are cautioned not to inflate the bottom line by slashing customary expenses or failing to reinvest in the product. Savvy buyers will see through the guise and instead base financial performance-and, hence, value-on industry norms. This is especially true with the under-$2 million publishers. Operating “lean and mean” is not necessarily an advantage when you put your company or title on the market.Michael D. Kreiter is director at W.B. Grimes & Co., a Gaithersburg, Maryland-based investment firm for the media industry. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.More on this topic Maximizing Your Company’s Value Column M&A: Avoiding an Acquisition Train Wreck Report: Media M&As Will Stay Hot in 2006 But Signs of Cooling Loom Online Services Greatly Affect Valuation Analysts Predict Another Record-Setting Deal Market in 2007 M&A Outlook 2008: Small-to-Mid Market Deal ActionJust In Four More Execs Depart SourceMedia in Latest Restructuring The Atlantic Names New Global Marketing Head | People on the Move BabyCenter Sold to Ziff Davis Parent J2 Media | News & Notes This Just In: Magazines Are Not TV Networks PE Firm Acquires Majority Stake in Industry Dive The Atlantic Taps Creative Leadership | People on the MovePowered by Early signs suggest that 2008 will be another banner year for magazine mergers and acquisitions. The big unknown at this point-and a factor that could tip the scales either way-is the capricious lending environment. Considering the amount of private equity funds still available for print media acquisitions, the deal pace at the high end will likely continue unabated. But what about the smaller properties?Strategic Bolt-Ons More Popular in 2008?Recent discussions with buyers and sellers across the board portend a developing trend for the New Year: The larger strategic buyers are likely to resume the search for the smaller add-on properties to flesh out platforms acquired or built during the past few years.
Rain brings fears of landslides againThe inhabitants of Rangamati are in fear of fresh landslides as it rained again on Thursday evening. Drizzling started from the night and has continued till Friday morning, when this report was being written.The people in the hill areas were taking refuge in the shelters. The local administration used megaphones to caution the people and helped them reach the shelters. A total of 12 shelters were opened with a capacity of housing around 2000 people.Shabana Khatun, one of the inhabitants of the hilly area who took shelter at the shelter house said she feared landslides would resume any moment.Rabi Mohan Chakma, the councilor of Bhedbhedi ward no 6, said people are in fear after rain resumed.Meanwhile, members of the fire service have resumed rescue operations in the BhedBhedi area where three people are reportedly still missing.
Flickr ImageBaylor University’s Neff Hall in Waco TexasBaylor University has agreed to settle a federal lawsuit with a former student who accused the nation’s largest Baptist school of fostering a “hunting ground for sexual predators” and mishandling her alleged attack in 2015.A settlement notice was filed in federal court in Waco, Texas on Thursday. No details were released, but the agreement marks Baylor’s first settlement to resolve a cascade of lawsuits over the past 18 months by women who said they were attacked and had their cases ignored or bungled by the university for years.Baylor has settled with at least three other women who were attacked but did not file lawsuits, and still faces five federal Title IX discrimination lawsuits from more than a dozen women. The school also faces state criminal and federal civil rights investigations, and an NCAA probe into the athletic program.The scandal, and the school’s own investigation into how Baylor responded to assault allegations, led to the firing of former football coach Art Briles and the demotion and eventual departure of former school President Ken Starr in 2016. New President Linda Livingstone took over June 1.“Baylor University is pleased that the parties were able to resolve this dispute in an amicable fashion. We are unable to comment further regarding this particular claim out of respect for the student’s privacy,” the school said in a statement.The settled lawsuit was filed by a woman identified anonymously as Jane Doe who said she was assaulted after being drugged and abducted from an off-campus residence known as “The Rugby House,” a place where Baylor officials had received several previous reports of assaults. The lawsuit did not name her assailant but noted he was not a member of Baylor’s rugby club team.According to the lawsuit, Baylor officials initially attempted to help identify the attacker, and told her there were two more reported victims with similar experiences at the house. But school investigators stopped all correspondence with the woman after five weeks and did not schedule an administrative hearing in her case, the lawsuit said. The woman dropped out of Baylor in summer 2015 and moved home out of state.The woman sued in 2016, alleging Baylor’s own investigation into sexual assault responses showed that officials ignored rape claims at the cost of safety to its students for years. The lawsuit accused the school of creating a “hunting ground for sexual predators to freely prey upon innocent, unsuspecting female students, with no concern of reprisal or consequences.”The lawsuit said she did not file a police report because she was too embarrassed and the woman’s mother contacted school officials.Baylor initially tried to get the lawsuit dismissed, arguing that while the attack was “horrific” it had not occurred at a place or event under Baylor control. The school also argued the woman couldn’t prove further harassment in her school setting.The woman’s lawyers did not immediately respond to a request for comment. The settlement notice said the two sides are finalizing details and expect to have the case dismissed within the next two months. Trial had been set for May 2018.Baylor is locked in legal battles with the other women who have sued. The lawsuits have alleged gang rape, a football program that fostered sexual violence and accused the school of using a strict student code of conduct that prohibits premarital sex and drinking alcohol to intimidate victims and witnesses into silence.Baylor’s 2016 investigation report into sexual assault responses found a football program that acted as if it was “above the rules” as coaches and staff had improper contact with complainants, and interfered or impeded school and potentially criminal investigations.Briles has long denied any wrongdoing and insisted he did not cover up sexual violence by his players or try to obstruct any investigations. Share