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Nov 10 2005
TPI Buys Argentine Publisher
The Spanish publisher Telefónica Publicidad e Información (TPI) has expanded its presence in South America with the acquisition of Telinver, Argentina's largest directory publisher. The enterprise value of the deal was US$74 million. TPI already owns the market leaders in Chile and Peru as well as a leading competitive publisher in Brazil. TPI's main rival in the region is Publicar, which is based in Colombia with operations throughout Central and South America.

Blog: Global Yellow Pages Blog
 
posted by  Charles Laughlin at  10:18 | permalink | comments [0] | trackbacks [0]



Nov 4 2005
Yellow Pages Group's New Home Improvement Guides
Canada's Yellow Pages Group is working with magazine publisher Transcontinental Media to publish home improvement guides that combine magzine-like editorial with directory information. YPG's Ezana Raswork talked about this initiative at our recent DDC2005 conference.

Transcontinental will provide the content and sell into the editorial piece, while YPG will handle directory sales through a subsidiary called Snap Guides. The idea is to offer advertisers in a key directory category a more targeted product. It's an interesting and creative example of a cross-media partnership.

Here is a link to the press release.

Blog: Global Yellow Pages Blog
 
posted by  Charles Laughlin at  07:20 | permalink | comments [0] | trackbacks [0]



Nov 4 2005
Developments in Euro Search & Directory
Here are some interesting items we've come across in the European search and directory world:
* Eniro has announced a partnership with Internet telephony player Skype to include Skype addresses in Eniro's online database of names and numbers. Skype is launching a toolbar that will allow direct connection to both Skype subscribers and conventional phone numbers.
* The Spanish publisher TPI is said to be in the process of developing its own search service, called Noxtrum. The launch is supposed to take place in December, according to European press reports.
* The German online directory www.goyellow.de has launched a free pay-per-call service using VoIP.

Blog: Global Yellow Pages Blog
 
posted by  Charles Laughlin at  06:47 | permalink | comments [0] | trackbacks [2]



Nov 1 2005
The SBC-BellSouth Marriage that Never Was
Interesting article in USA Today yesterday on BellSouth and its reluctance to jump into the M&A game as aggressively as SBC and others have. The article recounts how, after the wireless company Cingular acquired AT&T's wireless business, SBC CEO Ed Whitacre proposed an SBC-BellSouth merger. BellSouth CEO Duane Ackerman passed, but offered a plan of his own. He wanted to merge the assets of the two companies into three separate, public companies for wireline, wireless and Yellow Pages. Whitacre instead went after the acquisition of AT&T and the rest is history. Here is the article.

Blog: Global Yellow Pages Blog
 
posted by  Charles Laughlin at  16:04 | permalink | comments [0] | trackbacks [0]



Nov 1 2005
PagesJaunes Continues Growth
The French directory publisher PagesJaunes issued its third-quarter and year-to-date figures today. The highlights include a 3.1 percent print growth rate in France through the first nine months of 2005 and a 13.5 percent online growth rate for the same period. Today, online revenues make up 30 percent of the company��s top line in France, its largest market. We will cover PagesJaunes�� results in greater detail in next week��s Local Media Journal. To go to the company's corporate site, click here.

Blog: Global Yellow Pages Blog
 
posted by  Charles Laughlin at  10:40 | permalink | comments [0] | trackbacks [0]



Oct 26 2005
Independents on Track to Parity: ADP Leader
Here at the Association of Directory Publishers conference in Huntington Beach, CA, the mood seems upbeat and the independent publishers in attendance see blue skies ahead for their businesses, which offer competitive Yellow Pages directories, primarily in the United States. Jim Hail, the ADP's chairman, set this tone with an address built on the theme of "strength" -- in particular, the independent publisher segment's strength within the directory industry. Referring to a pledge made by previous chair Ken Brock to reach revenue parity with incumbents by 2010, Hail insisted the objective remains on track. His point was that if independents grow at the current 15.4 percent pace (using ADP's revenue estimates), they will more than double their share in five years, which would bring them to, or near to, parity with incumbents.

My question is,why is parity so important?

I wonder whether independent publishers are better offer remaining the smaller of the two U.S. industry segments. In his remarks, Hail used underdog references, portraying independent publishers as Rocky Balboa to the incumbents' Apollo Creed (he also compared incumbents to "lumbering dinosaurs").

Being an underdog is a motivational gift from above, not to mention a powerful unifying force. Once they achieve parity, what's the next goal? And if independent publishers surpass the incumbents in share of revenue, what meaningful distinction would then exist between the two categories? How can you position yourself as an underdog when you are just as tall and strong as the "bully" across the table.

We think parity is possible but not a given. If independents continue to outgrow incumbents indefinitely, it becomes a question of how quickly they reach parity. However, we question whether any publisher based largely in print will be generating positive organic growth beyond 2010; and sooner or later expansion reaches a point of diminishing returns. So it is quite possible that share levels could stabilize at some point in the future. Will independents reach parity before this happens? Maybe, but I'm not sure why it matters.

Ultimately, we see the parity goal mostly as a rallying cry for independent publishers to keep working, keep innovating, keep expanding and keep growing. Achieving the parity goal should not be as important as the true measures of success -- sustainable growth and improving margins. Parity is about bragging rights. Business is about making money.
Blog: Global Yellow Pages Blog
 
posted by  Charles Laughlin at  13:50 | permalink | comments [2] | trackbacks [0]



Oct 26 2005
More Consolidation in Hispanic Market
Ran into Jonathan Blue of Cobalt Publishing at the ADP conference last week. He pointed out that his company, which publishes Spanish-language directories under the Enlace (Spanish for Link) brand, has moved into its largest market to date by acquiring Miami En Sus Manos and Broward-Palm Beach En Sus Manos. Cobalt has built a niche Hispanic publishing business by focusing on midsize markets with fast-growing Hispanic populations. This acquisition is a big step for Cobalt, which has so far avoided big markets. The new acquisitions have combined distribution of 250,000. TKG's view of the Hispanic publishing market is that it is a good opportunity for a limited number of players. Cobalt has moved aggressively to own the markets it operates in, and its move into Miami through acquisition (rather than launching a me-too product) is consistent with its approach, even if the market size would appear to be a diversion from its game plan.

Blog: Global Yellow Pages Blog
 
posted by  Charles Laughlin at  13:25 | permalink | comments [0] | trackbacks [0]



Oct 14 2005
YBR Group Buys TDC, Changes Name
Yellow Brick Road (YBR), the European directories holding company, has come out on top in bidding for Denmark's TDC Directories, the latest publisher to split off from a parent telecommunications company. The purchase price was 650 million euros.

YBR, itself newly acquired by Australia's Macquarie Bank, has changed its name to European Directories SA.

The Kelsey Group will provide some background and analysis on this deal in the next edition of Local Media Journal. In short, YBR and Eniro (following its purchase of Norway's Findexa) are now lined up as the two main competitors in the Nordic region.

Blog: Global Yellow Pages Blog
 
posted by  Charles Laughlin at  15:31 | permalink | comments [0] | trackbacks [0]





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