McGraw Hill ac­qui­si­tion latest big media

Financial Mirror (Cyprus) - - FRONT PAGE -

In a Mon­day morn­ing press re­lease, McGraw Hill Fi­nan­cial Inc. (NYSE: MHFI) an­nounced that it has agreed to ac­quire SNL Fi­nan­cial in an all-cash deal worth about $2.23 bln. The to­tal pur­chase price is par­tially off­set by about $550 mln in tax ben­e­fits re­sult­ing from the trans­ac­tion.

SNL Fi­nan­cial is pri­vately held by an af­fil­i­ate of pri­vate eq­uity firm New Moun­tain Cap­i­tal and by cur­rent and for­mer SNL man­age­ment team mem­bers.

This is the sin­gle big­gest media deal in a week that has seen Pear­son plc (NYSE: PSO) sell its Fi­nan­cial Times news­pa­per for $1.3 bln to Ja­pan’s Nikkei and then put Pear­son’s 50% stake in The Economist mag­a­zine up for sale, and that could fetch another $600 mln or so for the Bri­tish com­pany that is trans­form­ing it­self into an ed­u­ca­tion com­pany. Last year, Pear­son sold its fi­nan­cial data com­pany Merg­er­mar­ket Group to a Lon­don-based pri­vate eq­uity group for $624 mln.

Where the SNL ac­qui­si­tion makes a fair amount of sense given McGraw Hill’s over­all busi­ness, the trans­ac­tion in­volv­ing the FT and The Economist ap­peals to van­ity buy­ers. It’s like buy­ing a pro­fes­sional sports team mi­nus the same like­li­hood of turn­ing a profit. And if the FT and The Economist can change hands, what about the New York Times? Per­haps Ama­zon founder and CEO Jeff Be­zos wants another news­pa­per to add to his bur­geon­ing media em­pire that al­ready in­cludes the Washington Post and an in­vest­ment in Busi­ness In­sider.

McGraw Hill, the par­ent com­pany of Stan­dard & Poor’s, Platts, J.D. Power and As­so­ci­ates, and the ma­jor­ity owner of the

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