Pearson the British publisher of the Financial Times, announced that they will be selling their Mergermarket unit which publishes the Mergermarket deal monitoring and deal data product and Debtwire which covers the global distressed debt market.According to a story in the New York Times, Pearson bought Mergermarket for $192 Million in 2006. The Times story also reported that Mergermarket’s sales were $334 million in the first half of 2013.
Mergermarket has gained traction in US law firms due to its “boots on the ground” approach to monitoring deal activities and rumors in 67 locations around the world. Reporters provide a steady stream of custom deal news as well as an excellent deal database which is used for Competitive Intelligence analysis and by lawyers for determining “What’s Market.” Since M&A activity has been uneven over the past few years, it is impressive that Mergermarkets revenue has grown in this tough environment.
Over the past year there have been rumors that Pearson was in talks with Bloomberg regarding the sale of the Financial Times. Pearson’s announcement indicated that it did not intend to sell the Financial Times because it was viewed as important to their educational market strategy and apparently Mergermarket is not. But there is probably a legal publisher with a strategy which would benefit from a product like Mergermarket.