Q1 2011 transaction volume and value have surpassed that of each quarter in 2010. The upward trajectory in deal volume, which had averaged a 5 percent increase during 2010’s first three quarters, appears to have resumed in Q1 2011, after a 10 percent dip in Q4 2010.
Q1 2011 aggregate transaction value, at $13.8 billion, is already more than half of the $28.6 billion aggregate total seen in 2010. While three transactions over $1 billion represented 61 percent of this sum, there were nine transactions greater than $300 million in value in Q1 2011, as compared to just 15 transactions for all of 2010.
West Australian Newspapers Limited’s announced acquisition of Seven Media Group, a subsidiary of Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co., was the largest transaction for Q1 2011, with an acquisition price of $4.15 billion. With this merger, the newly-formed Seven West Media, Inc. becomes Australia’s largest media company.
AOL Inc. and WebMediaBrands, Inc. were the most active acquirers in Q1 2011 based on the number of announced transactions, each with four businesses purchased either directly or through a partner or affiliate. AOL Inc.’s transactions were: About.me, Inc., Outside.in, The Huffington Post, and GoViral. WebMediaBrand‘s transactions were: Twittercism, SemanticOverflow.com, FacebookMarketing.de, and European Semantic Technology Conference.
Three of the above transactions were blogs; blogs accounted for 9 transactions in Q1 2011, 40 percent of the 22 announced blog transactions for all of 2010. Blogs were once considered small by definition, yet AOL’s acquisition of The Huffington Post, at $315 million, casts that assumption in serious doubt. This price makes it the largest blog transaction we have tracked.
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