NEW YORK — April 9, 2019 — Berkery Noyes, an independent mid-market investment bank, today released its Q1 2019 mergers and acquisitions trend report for the Media and Marketing Industry. The report analyzes M&A activity in the Media and Marketing Industry during Q1 2019 and compares it with the past four quarters.
According to Berkery Noyes’ latest research, transaction volume increased five percent over the past three months. Aggregate value fell 56 percent, from $27.1 billion to $12 billion. Of note, the industry’s five largest deals in Q1 2019 accounted for $4.4 billion in value, compared to $10.6 billion in Q4 2018 and $20.2 billion in Q1 2018.
Deal volume in the Internet Media segment rose 13 percent from Q4 2018 to Q1 2019. Notable Internet Media transactions during the quarter included Chinese live streaming and social media platform YY’s acquisition of Bigo Technology, a social video streaming app based in Singapore, for $1.5 billion; Viacom’s acquisition of Pluto TV, a free streaming television service, for $340 million; Spark Networks SE’s announced acquisition of Zoosk, an online dating company, for $255 million; Delivery Hero’s acquisition of restaurant search and discovery service Zomato’s UAE business, for $172 million; and Taptica’s announced acquisition of RhythmOne, a tech-enabled digital media company that connects online audiences with brands through premium content across devices, for $163 million.
M&A activity in the Marketing segment decreased seven percent on a quarterly basis. However, volume gained six percent year-over-year. The segment’s largest transaction thus far in 2019 was Willis Towers Watson’s announced acquisition of TRANZACT, a provider of direct-to-consumer sales and marketing solutions for insurance carriers in the United States, for $1.2 billion. Meanwhile, public relations firm Finn Partners was a notable segment acquirer in Q1 2019 with the acquisitions of Moorgate Communications, a London-based communications agency that serves clients in the financial services sector; CatchOn, a Hong Kong-based strategic marketing communications consultancy that focuses on the leisure, lifestyle, and travel sectors; and Small Army, an integrated marketing and creative services company located in Boston.
The Exhibitions, Conferences, and Events segment saw volume remain nearly constant for the second consecutive quarter. The segment’s most active acquirer year-to-date was Live Nation Entertainment with four transactions: Neste Event Marketing, a corporate sponsorship and event marketing agency that serves the music festival marketplace; Embrace Entertainment, a Canadian venue operator and promoter of concerts, festivals, and events; Planet Events, which produces and promotes major musical events in Spain; and One Production, a concert promoter based in Singapore.
As for other select industry markets covered in the report, deal flow in the Broadcasting segment quadrupled, rebounding to its Q3 2018 level. Of note, the two largest Broadcasting deals in Q1 2019 involved Nexstar Media: TEGNA’s announced acquisition of 11 local television stations from Nexstar Media for $740 million and E.W. Scripps’ announced acquisition of eight local television stations from Nexstar Media for $580 million.At the same time, the number of deals in the Consumer Publishing segment improved 23 percent over the past three months, returning to its Q3 2018 level. The Entertainment segment underwent a 21 percent volume increase, which was also the same as its Q3 2018 level.
“We expect strategics to continue dominating the Media and Marketing landscape as they look for tuck-in acquisitions to accelerate their growth,” said Vineet Asthana, Managing Director at Berkery Noyes. “Strategic acquirers are often willing to pay a premium on top of a fair valuation, so in many instances they are also the more likely winner in a bidding process with financial buyers.”
A copy of the MEDIA AND MARKETING INDUSTRY M&A REPORT FOR FIRST QUARTER 2019 is available at the Berkery Noyes website.