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CROSS-BORDER M&A IN PUBLISHING INDUSTRY SLASHED AS COMPANIES PAY THE PRICE OF THE 80s BOOM

 CROSS-BORDER M&A IN PUBLISHING INDUSTRY SLASHED AS COMPANIES
 PAY THE PRICE OF THE 80s BOOM
 NEW YORK, Oct. 7 /PRNewswire/ -- The number of cross-border mergers and acquisitions (M&A) deals in the publishing industry fell dramatically in the first six months of 1992, according to a study released by KPMG Peat Marwick, a leading accountancy and management consultancy firm. The figures analyze cross-border M&A trends in the publishing industry -- encompassing newspapers, books, periodicals and printing since 1989. In 1989, there were 106 acquisitions worth $5.4 billion. In the six months to June 30, 1992, there were 23 acquisitions worth $56 million.
 John F. Green, KPMG Peat Marwick's partner in charge of services to publishers, commented, "A few years ago there was a common view in the industry that international multi-media groups were the way to the future and that they would squeeze out medium-sized competitors. As a result, we saw an acquisition boom as companies raced each other to establish themselves as international empires."
 Today, though the volume and the size of transactions has fallen, a steady stream of cross-border acquisitions continues even during a deep global recession. In the four and a half years to June 30, 1992, the United States was the top seller with 156 sales worth $13.6 billion, more than 70 percent of the value of the $18.8 billion spent on cross- border publishing M&A deals worldwide. The U.K. was the top purchasing country in the publishing industry by a significant margin with 145 acquisitions worth $7 billion, of which more than half -- $3.9 billion -- was paid by Robert Maxwell in 22 acquisitions.
 "For newspaper publishers looking for growth, foreign acquisitions are a key strategy," advised Green. "In most developed countries, the newspaper market has reached maturity and domestic acquisitions will frequently run into opposition from competition regulators."
 Investing in a foreign newspaper, including minority participations and joint ventures as well as acquisitions, is therefore one of the ways in which a publisher can expand its activities. In the four and a half years to June 30, 1992, there have been 109 such cross-border deals valued at $2 billion, although cross-border M&A in this sector may well decline during the next five years. Currently, transactions between the English-speaking countries dominate the market, accounting for 39 deals valued at over $1.5 billion in the four and a half years up to June 30, 1992.
 Periodicals
 "Launching a new magazine is an increasingly expensive gamble," noted Green. "And avoiding such a risk makes cross-border M&A inevitably popular." There were 134 acquisitions, minority participations and joint ventures valued at $7.7 billion in the periodicals sector in the four and a half years to June 30, 1992. "Despite a slump in advertising revenue, the long-term outlook for the world's periodicals market is good," according to Green.
 Books
 The 1980s saw the transformation of the book industry around the world, with international publishing chains emerging from a series of mergers and acquisitions. Cross-borders deals played a major role in this process, with 129 acquisitions, minority participations and joint ventures worth $6.7 billion recorded in the four and a half years to June 30, 1992. However, there has been a decline in the 1990s -- 48 acquisitions worth $705 million in the two and a half years to June 30, 1992.
 Through 135 offices in the United States, KPMG Peat Marwick provides industry-specific professional services to a broad range of businesses. KPMG has more than 76,000 people worldwide and operates in 125 countries. KPMG Peat Marwick's Industry Survey: Publishing, the annual report on cross-border M&A, is available from KPMG Peat Marwick upon request. Contact Patricia Neil at KPMG Peat Marwick, 767 Fifth Ave., New York, N.Y., 10153.
 -0- 10/7/92
 /CONTACT: Lisa Meyer of KPMG Peat Marwick, 212-909-5108/ CO: KPMG Peat Marwick ST: New York IN: PUB FIN SU: ECO


CK-OS -- NY013 -- 7398 10/07/92 10:43 EDT
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Date:Oct 7, 1992
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