Comparing 2 Kinds Of B2B Media M&A

Today’s theme is M&A. B2B M&A, specifically.

One of B2B media’s most acquisitive companies, Endeavor Business Media, last week announced its ninth deal of 2022, purchasing 10 Missions Media, which publishes nearly a dozen brands in the automotive aftermarket space.

Last month, Endeavor acquired Microgrid Knowledge, a business covering the distributed-energy sector, and Putman Media, a B2B company that specializes in manufacturing markets. The acquisition of Putman, an 84-year-old privately held company based in Schaumburg, Illinois, was one of the most significant in Endeavor’s recent string of acquisitions.

So is the deal for 10 Missions, a company based in St. Paul, Minnesota. Brands included in the acquisition include ADAPT, Auto Job Central, Auto Service Professional, FenderBender, Modern Tire Dealer, MTD TEN, MWACA magazine, National Oil and Lube News, and Ratchet+Wrench.

The terms were not disclosed.



Endeavor CEO Chris Ferrell said in the announcement that the brands will be invaluable in expanding the Nashville, Tennessee-based company’s ability to provide the transportation industry with full coverage of the entire spectrum of vehicle repair and maintenance.

And Reggie Lawrence, executive vice president, of the Endeavor transportation group, added that, “The acquisition of 10 Missions Media is a perfect fit with the market segments we already serve. Adding these respected brands to Endeavor’s Transportation portfolio will significantly expand the market coverage and capabilities for our commercial vehicle and vehicle repair customers.”

The other deal, in today’s related story, is about how the private-equity firm Growth Catalyst Partners is launching a new company through three acquisitions. There are plenty of contrasts. One (the GCT deal) is a pure financial rollup. The other (Endeavor) is a private-equity-backed strategic buyer. The former is a value-creation initiative made by piecing together complementary parts, where one plus one equals three. The latter is more of a pure consolidation play.

By rolling up independent companies one after another, Endeavor doesn’t just reduce competition. It reduces jobs through central-services efficiencies. It means vendors have one fewer company to which they can sell products and services. It means two revenue-producing conferences or tradeshows will likely become just one at some point. Farther up the supply chain, it means hotels and convention centers get squeezed. It means the industry associations that serve the market have one fewer member eligible to join.

I’ve always been bullish about media M&A because it’s a key indicator of a healthy industry. And it is. But sometimes consolidation has a downside.  

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