NEW YORK — July 2, 2019 — Berkery Noyes, an independent mid-market investment bank, today released its half year 2019 mergers and acquisitions trend report for the Media and Marketing Industry. The report analyzes M&A activity during the first half of 2019 and compares it with the four previous six-month periods from 2017 to 2018.
Deal volume declined three percent on a half year basis. Total value fell 22 percent, from $53.32 billion to $41.74 billion. The median revenue multiple over the past six months moved downward from 2.4x to 2.0x, while the median EBITDA multiple decreased from 10.4x to 8.4x. Over the last two-and-a half years, acquisitions in the $10-$20 million range received a median enterprise value multiple of 1.2x revenue, compared to 2.0x revenue for those in the $20-$80 million range and 3.1x revenue for those in the $80 million and above range.
The largest transaction in first half 2019 was Sinclair Broadcast Group’s announced acquisition of 22 Fox regional sports networks from Disney for $10.6 billion. Of note, Disney was required to sell its regional sports networks in order to obtain regulatory approval for its acquisition of 21st Century Fox’s entertainment division for $66.1 billion.
Volume in the Marketing segment, which for the purposes of this report excludes pure software based companies, decreased 21 percent in first half 2019. However, deal flow remained almost constant year-over-year. High profile Marketing transactions thus far in 2019 included Publicis Groupe SA’s announced acquisition of Epsilon, an email marketing and data company, for $4.4 billion; and Wills 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.
Transaction activity in the Internet Media segment gained four percent in first half 2019. The segment’s largest deal year-to-date 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.
The number of acquisitions in the B2B Publishing and Information segment decreased 29 percent on a half year basis. Notable B2B related deals in first half 2019 included Morningstar’s announced acquisition of DBRS Limited, the world’s fourth-largest credit ratings agency; and Motorola Solutions’ acquisition of VaaS International Holdings, a provider of data and image analytics for vehicle location, for $445 million.
Meanwhile, transaction activity in the Consumer Publishing segment improved 44 percent during the half year period, slightly surpassing its first half 2018 level. One of the most notable Consumer Publishing deals in first half 2019 was the acquisition of Press Ganey Associates, which is known for its health survey business, by Leonard Green & Partners and affiliates of Ares Management Corporation. This acquisition had a reported valuation of more than $4 billion.
Regarding other selected sectors covered in the report, volume in the Broadcasting segment more than doubled, from 23 to 50 transactions. Deal volume in the Exhibitions, Conferences, and Events segment rose six percent, from 62 to 66 acquisitions. M&A activity in the Entertainment segment stayed almost the same on a half year basis, at 91 deals.
A copy of the MEDIA AND MARKETING INDUSTRY M&A REPORT FOR HALF YEAR 2019 is available at the Berkery Noyes website.