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Week in Review: Bezos, MBAs, and General Solicitation

The industry of choice this week was definitely print media. On Monday, three major media acquisitions were announced: John Henry bought Boston Globe, IBT Media bought Newsweek, and Jeff Bezos bought the Washington Post. The acquisition by the Amazon chief garnered the most attention, with countless articles questioning the reason for the acquisition, the future of WaPo, and why Buffett didn’t acquire the paper.

Ultimately, the movement in the (print) media industry revisits some concerns about the long-term viability of the space. As consolidation occurs further upmarket, it is likely that the larger companies will look to acquire local papers — or beat them out entirely. Maybe Bezos will be able to bring a rethinking to the Washington paper and pioneer a reformatting of the industry.

In other news, new SEC guidance could save middle market PE millions, traditional MBA curricula may no longer be enough, and Riverside exits Capol.

General Solicitation Could Improve Visibility into PE Firm Performance: Scott Gluck, an attorney with Venable LLP, believes that general solicitation may give new levels transparency into the inner workings of PE funds and firms. While the ban encouraged secrecy, the new rules may encourage funds to be more open with their activities and returns.

Traditional MBA Skill Set Is No Longer Enough: An MBA may be losing its value. Bettina von Stamm explains, “The MBA as most commonly taught today is outdated, and does not provide its students with the skills and mindset that is required to succeed in business today, let alone tomorrow.” The skills of tomorrow pertain more to the ‘knowledge economy’ and adaptability than to individual careers.

Private Equity-Backed M&A Having Strongest Year Since 2007: M&A activity may not be as slow as people are suggesting. According to Thomson Reuters, PE-backed M&A deals have totalled $196.4 billion YTD — the strongest period since 2007. However, how many of those are skewed by mega-deals?

Member Spotlight:

Bertram Capital is a private equity firm focused on partnering with lower middle market companies to reach their full potential. Bertram’s core objective is to work closely with management teams providing the resources and strategic support necessary to facilitate rapid growth. The firm joined Axial in 2010.

Bertram is actively pursuing investment opportunities in the Business Services, Consumer, Industrial, Healthcare, and Technology sectors with revenues between $30 – $250 million and EBITDA between $7 – $30 million.

Connect with Bertram Capital or any of the other 13,000+ Axial Members.

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