NEW YORK — July 2, 2020 — Berkery Noyes, an independent mid-market investment bank, today released its half year 2020 mergers and acquisitions trend report for the Media and Marketing Industry. The report analyzes M&A activity during the first half of 2020 and compares it with the four previous six-month periods from 2018 to 2019.  

Deal volume declined 17 percent on a half year basis. Total value fell 73 percent, from $87.34 billion to $23.92 billion. Of note, the value surge in second half 2019 was driven by two deals that reached the $20 billion threshold. Excluding these two deals, value remained about constant in second half 2019 and declined 42 percent in first half 2020. The median revenue multiple decreased from 2.5x to 2.2x while the median EBITDA multiple moved upward from 8.2x to 9.7x.

Volume in the Marketing segment, which for the purposes of this report excludes pure software-based companies, decreased 16 percent in first half 2020. Notable segment transactions year-to-date included private equity firm Clayton Dubilier & Rice’s announced acquisition of Huntsworth PLC, a healthcare communications and public relations company, for $665 million; and Charlesbank Capital Partners’ announced acquisition of News America Marketing, which provides marketing services primarily through newspaper inserts and in-store coupon displays, for $235 million.

Transaction activity in the Internet Media segment declined 12 percent in first half 2020. However, five of the industry’s top ten largest deals year-to-date occurred in the segment, which accounted for 41 percent of the industry’s total value in first half 2020. High profile segment acquirers thus far in 2020 included Fox Corporation with the acquisition of Tubi TV, a streaming platform, for $490 million; Spotify with the announced acquisition of The Ringer, a sports and pop culture podcast network, for around $200 million.

The number of acquisitions in the B2B Publishing and Information segment fell 29 percent, which remained slightly above its first half 2019 level. Notable segment deals in first half 2020 included Clarivate Analytics’ acquisition of Decision Resources Group, a provider of data, analytics and insights products and services used by pharma, biotech and medical technology companies, for $950 million; and Moody’s acquisition of Regulatory DataCorp, a provider of anti-money laundering (AML) and know-your-customer (KYC) data and due diligence services, for $700 million.

Deal volume in the Entertainment segment stayed nearly constant on a half year basis. Notable segment transactions year-to-date included Stillfront Group AB’s acquisition of Storm8, a mobile mash-up game developer, for $304 million; and Embracer Group’s acquisition of Saber Interactive, a video game developer, for $150 million with a potential $375 million earnout.

A copy of the MEDIA AND MARKETING INDUSTRY M&A REPORT FOR HALF YEAR 2020 is available at the Berkery Noyes website.