Acquisitions of analyst firms are likely, so who would be buyers and targets?

question-mark-graphic.jpgQuestion: A common question SageCircle has been receiving concerns the likelihood that there will be acquisitions of analyst firms during the current recession.

During a recession, companies with strong balance sheets often acquire companies with weaker financials because the purchase price has been cut. Both Gartner (cash at September 30th was $145.2 million) and Forrester (NASDAQ: FORR, cash and marketable securities at September 30th were $254 million) have a history of acquisitions.  They also have dedicated M&A teams and CEOs that assure Wall Street during quarterly earnings calls that acquisitions remain a potential tactic “at the right price.” As a consequence, there is always the possibility that one or more small or mid-sized firms will be acquired by one of the two major public firms. 

Who could be acquired? Almost any firm. Obviously mid-sized firms like AMR Research that have gone through recent job actions could be thought to be shoring up their finances to ride out the recession… or make themselves a more attractive acquisition target by reducing cost structure or eliminating duplicate reearch coverage.

Who could be buyers? While Forrester and Gartner have the requisite strong balance sheets and motivations, they are not the only potential buyers of analyst firms. Companies that have made analyst firm acquisitions over Continue reading

Is Yankee Group being prepared for another sale?

Last week’s severe cutbacks at Yankee Group (see here and here) could be an indicator that the firm is simply refocusing on its prime research opportunity or it could mean it is back on the selling block. This would be the fourth change in ownership in this decade if this turns out to be true. Here is a quick timeline:

  •  1970 – founded by Howard Anderson
  • 1996 August – acquirer Primark ($34m)
  • 2000 May – acquirer Reuters Enterprise ($72.5m)
  • 2004 May – acquirer Decision Matrix Group, formed by Monitor Clipper Partners (undisclosed)
  • 2005 November – acquirer Alta Communications (undisclosed)
  • 2008 September – ?

 A sale by Alta would not be surprising as it – like Monitor Clipper Partners – is a private equity firm that buys and sells companies as Continue reading

Pyramid Research acquired by TechWeb’s Light Reading Communications Network

Updated 8/29/08 8:15 am PT – SageCircle’s Carter Lusher just completed a phone-based conversation with Light Reading PR manager Amy Averbook. As is often the case in M&A events, Amy is not permited to provide significant incremental information beyond the press release at this time. She did say that the Pyramid brand would be retained.

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Here is the latest in analyst industry merger and acquisition news. TechWeb is a division of United Business Media, which made the hostile acquisition move on Informa (owner of Datamonitor, Ovum, et cetera, see here). UBM later withdrew its hostile bid.

SageCircle is in contact with Heavy Reading so check back later for an expanded article.

“Pyramid will be integrated with Heavy Reading (www.heavyreading.com), creating the communications industry’s most comprehensive provider of research. Heavy Reading, the independent market research arm of the Light Reading Communications Network, offers quantitative analysis of telecom technology to service providers, vendors and investors.” 

See here for Continue reading

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