NEW YORK — January 9, 2014 — Berkery Noyes, an independent mid-market investment bank, today released its full year 2013 mergers and acquisitions trend report for the Media and Marketing Industry. The report analyzes M&A activity in the Media and Marketing Industry during 2013 and compares it with data covering 2011 and 2012.
The firm’s research showed that deal volume remained nearly constant on a year-to-year basis. However, this represented a six percent rise compared to 2011. Strategic acquirers accounted for 91 percent of the industry’s deal volume in 2013, an increase of five percent relative to 2012.
Total deal value showed a gain of 28 percent, from $75.81 billion in 2012 to $97.30 billion in 2013. Of note, the announced merger of Publicis and Omnicom was responsible for 21 percent of the industry’s aggregate transaction value in 2013. In terms of valuations, the median revenue multiple increased from 1.4x to 2.0x, while the median EBITDA multiple rose from 8.0x to 9.7x. In both instances, this marked a return to valuations that were seen in 2011.
The segment with the largest year-to-year rise in volume was Consumer Publishing, which increased 16 percent, from 167 to 193 transactions. Harland Clarke’s announced acquisition of Valassis Communications for $1.78 billion in the shopping guides and coupon subset was the segment’s highest value transaction in 2013. As for other markets covered in the report, deal activity in the Entertainment segment increased six percent between 2012 and 2013. Although the Broadcasting segment saw a decline in volume, its corresponding aggregate value more than tripled. There were 13 Broadcasting transactions above $100 million in 2013, accounting for $11.48 billion in total value.
Deal flow within the B2B Publishing and Information segment increased four percent, totaling 182 transactions in 2013. Although private equity firms in the industry were slightly less active than in 2012, there were several notable deals in the B2B segment that were completed by financial sponsors. This included BC Partners’ acquisitions of Springer Science & Business Media for $4.42 billion and Mergermarket for $624 million, respectively.
M&A activity in the Marketing segment stayed about the same, with a total of 536 transactions in 2013. One growth area in the segment was the market research subset, which saw volume rise 61 percent, from 44 to 71 deals.
The most active acquirer in both the overall industry and the Marketing segment during 2013 was WPP with 30 transactions. WPP also completed 25 deals in 2011 and 42 in 2012, making it the industry’s most active acquirer throughout the past three years. Meanwhile, Publicis remained active as well with 17 transactions in 2013.
The largest private equity deal in the Marketing segment was William Morris Endeavor’s announced acquisition of IMG Worldwide for $2.30 billion. William Morris Endeavor, which is backed by Silver Lake Partners, acquired the sports and talent media agency from private equity firm Forstmann Little.
Regarding the Internet Media segment, volume was flat with 405 deals in 2013. One transaction in the segment by a notable acquirer was The E.W. Scripps Company’s acquisition of Newsy, a provider of digital video news, for $35 million. Scripps, which owns 19 local TV stations and newspapers in 13 markets, is looking to expand its digital media business and reach an audience that consumes news beyond traditional platforms.
“Strong merger and acquisition activity should persist as publishers, advertising agencies and others continue to adapt to change by expanding their digital offerings,” said Mary Jo Zandy, Managing Director at Berkery Noyes. “As the lines between content, marketing and advertising continue to blur, their product depth and breadth will encompass more. All of this has the potential to help fuel M&A activity in the foreseeable future.”
A copy of the MEDIA AND MARKETING INDUSTRY M&A REPORT FOR FULL YEAR 2013 is available at the Berkery Noyes website.