Thursday, January 31, 2008

Press release on new BSG report


M&A activity in Asian B2B media sector increases by 75% in 2007

Hong Kong, 31st January: Business Strategies Group (BSG), the only consultancy in Asia specialising in B2B media and events, has released a new report tracking mergers and acquisitions (M&A) in Asia’s B2B media sector.

In 2007, the total value of M&A activity in this industry hit a new high of US$470 million. That is a 75% increase over the US$269 million recorded in 2006.

In 2007, there were 33 transactions – 50% more than the 22 deals in 2006. The average deal size was US$14.2 million which was an increase of 16% over the previous year. Significant deals in 2007 included:

· India-based Network 18’s purchase of 40% of Infomedia for US$45 million. The stake was acquired from ICICI, an Indian bank.
· Tarsus’ trade show-related acquisitions in India including its purchase of the India Label Show as well as a significant investment in Montgomery India Limited.
· The sale of a significant stake in Thailand’s IMPACT Arena to a foreign investor for an undisclosed sum. The convention and exhibition venue features of 136,000 square metres.
· Xinhua Financial was particularly active in 2007 closing four deals valued over US$90 million.

BSG is forecasting 37 deals worth US$650 million in 2008 – an increase of close to 40% over the 2007 figure. This substantial growth will be driven by deal flow from India and continued purchases by industry majors including Reed\ and CMP. is also expected to begin to play a significant role in the industry’s M&A activity in 2008. The company has indicated that it plans to use a significant portion of its IPO proceeds to acquire existing businesses.

BSG Principal, Paul Woodward, commented “we are forecasting 2008 to be another year of dramatic M&A growth in Asia’s B2B media industry. Continued economic growth in China and India and a potential slowdown in the U.S. will further heighten interest in the region’s B2B media firms. BSG anticipates that all eyes will be on and their war chest of US$1.7 billion.”

This BSG report was distributed on 29th January to BSG subscribers of its Asian Business Media Tracker service. It is also available for purchase on a stand-alone basis.


Sunday, January 20, 2008

Carbon offsets

Running an international business is exciting and many of us love visiting different parts of the world as part of the work that we do. Over the past three years, I've averaged 63 flights and around 205,000km a year. Other colleagues are flying a fair bit, if not that far. I have been thinking for a while that this gives us big fat and not very green carbon footprint.

I was, therefore, pleased to see the Cathay Pacific/Dragonair flyGreener initiative. I am planning to use this service to pay an appropriate offset for all the travel that BSG staff and I do on business in 2008. I'm going to keep track of how much carbon we contribute and will post here on how we go about those offset.

Interesting to read the Economist's take on how poorly most companies are doing in this whole area of CSR, despite many good intentions.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Important new Tracker report released


BSG releases ranking of publicly-listed Asian B2B media companies

Hong Kong, 14th January: Business Strategies Group (BSG), the only consultancy in Asia specialising in B2B media and events, has released a new report covering all publicly-traded Asian B2B media companies. The report ranks 25 companies by revenue, gross profit and market capitalisation. It also provides profiles of all 25 companies featuring key financial metrics, the share price performance over the past 12 months and other data such as key shareholders and core business description.

In terms of revenues, Pico Far East, which provides marketing, logistical and advertising services to exhibition organizers, is the largest with revenues of US$231 million. is a new-comer to BSG’s ranking. The company debuts in the number two position with revenues of US$176 million in 2006. The Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC) with revenues of nearly US$173 million for its publishing and exhibitions activities ranks third. Xinhua Finance (US$167 million) and Global Sources (US$156 million) round out the top five.

As of 8 January, the market capitalization of the top 25 companies ranges from’s US$16.8 billion down to Hong Kong-listed CCID Consulting which has a market capitalization of just US$7.7 million. Three companies have a market cap of over US$1 billion –, Baidu (US$11.4 billion) and Global Sources (US$1.1 billion). Surprisingly, Shenzhen-listed Zhejiang Netsun with revenues of just US$8 million ranks fourth with a market cap of US$604 million. NASDAQ-listed Xinhua Finance Media completes the top five with a market capitalization of US$383 million.

BSG Principal, Paul Woodward, commented “we expect the top five companies to continue to expand rapidly. Both and Xinhua Financial recently completed IPOs and BSG anticipates that both companies will pursue acquisitions as a means of growth. Meanwhile, Global Sources is also aggressively expanding its successful series of sourcing trade shows in new locations such as Dubai and India.”

This BSG report was distributed on 10th January to BSG subscribers of its Asian Business Media Tracker service. It is also available for purchase on a stand-alone basis.