Important Media Deals You May Have Missed

There were a few acquisitions in the larger media world this week that were far from blockbusters, but worth a quick review.

1. DISH Network Buys DBSD

In this deal, Dish Network bought a bankrupt satellite company for a billion dollars in order to gain top quality wireless spectrum. The question is whether this will become an effort at Dish to create a new wireless network, or a chess piece that controlling shareholder Charlie Ergen uses for some future endeavor.

2. Hearst Shells Out for Old Media

Maybe they didn’t get the memo at Hearst that old media is dead. Hearst agreed to buy 102 magazines from Lagardere for $890 million. The magazines produced a bit over a billion dollars worth of revenues last year and 67 million dollars of EBIT (earnings before interest and taxes) in 2010. Hearst was willing to pay 13 times EBIT for a big group of magazines.

Clearly, the company believes it will be able to quickly increase EBIT through costs savings and growth, but that’s a pretty hefty multiple for an industry supposedly in decline. The happiest people to see this deal: probably the Newhouse family (they own Conde Nast).

3. Time Warner Cable and the Cloud

It’s a small deal, but one worth noting. Time Warner Cable’s purchase of the cloud commuting company NaviSite. That 570 employee company was bought for $230 million in cash in a deal Time Warner says will be accreditive to EPS (earnings per share), in part because of the $40 million tax savings acquired as a result of Navisite’s net operating losses.

The deal is interesting not because of that accounting treatment, but because it shows the appetite for cloud computing services amongst Time Warner’s business customers is growing fast enough so that the company thought it needed to increase its product offering.

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