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 [email protected] 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.
Republican leaders to date have not made any decision as to how long a fiscal 2017 continuing resolution (CR) would extend, but House conservatives are making clear their preference for a stopgap spending measure that lasts until March 2017.A CR almost certainly will be needed for most, if not all, spending bills to avoid a government shutdown when the new fiscal year begins in October, as the regular appropriations process appears to be coming to an end. Conservatives are pushing for a CR that lasts about six months to avoid the last-minute negotiations on an omnibus spending measure that typically take place behind closed doors as the December holidays approach.“The last thing we want to see is some kind of a shutdown scenario in December, and then basically giving the president everything that he asks for,” Rep. Matt Salmon (R-Ariz.) told CQ.Other Republicans, especially appropriators, favor a shorter stopgap, including Harold Rogers (R-Ky.), chairman of the House Appropriations Committee.“I would, yeah,” Rogers told reporters. But he added, “It’s just beginning to be talked about.”Discussion of a six-month stopgap has largely taken place only in the House, with at least one Senate appropriator leaning toward finishing work on FY 2017 appropriations before the end of the congressional session.“The problem with pushing these things out too far [is] you’ve got the old year to consider and you’ve got the new year to consider, and you really get into a time crunch,” Sen. John Boozman (R-Ark.) told CQ.Democrats similarly favor finishing the process in 2016. Placing spending on autopilot for the first half of the fiscal year cheats agencies out of the opportunity to start new programs, said Sen. Richard Durbin (D-Ill.), the chamber’s Democratic whip and a senior appropriator.“Try to run the Department of Defense on a CR. You know the bottom line or top dollar number, but to put into each one of your agencies, sub-agencies, the same amount of money as last year, is not a good way to govern and it’s certainly not a good way to respect the taxpayers’ dollars,” Durbin said. Dan Cohen AUTHOR
Prime minister Sheikh Hasina speaks at a media briefing at her official Ganabhaban residence on Wednesday. Photo: BSSPrime minister Sheikh Hasina has said it is the government policymakers, not the students, who should think of quota reform.“Quota reform is not a matter of students. It is rather a matter of the policymakers. As students demanded annulment of the system, we’ve scrapped it. What’s the point of raising question over the matter now?” prime minister Hasina told a media briefing at her official Ganabhaban residence.Also the ruling Bangladesh Awami League president, Sheikh Hasina organised the briefing on the outcome of her recent visits to Saudia Arabia, United Kingdom and Australia. Hasina went on saying, “The students have demanded and we’ve accepted it. What is the point of repentance now?”She said none should complain now that they are lagging behind as the district quota has also been abolished.