2018 Key Highlights

  • The industry’s two largest deals in 2018 were completed by private equity firms. Both of these transactions occurred in the B2B Publishing and Information segment.
  • Along these lines were a Blackstone Group led consortium’s announced acquisition of a 55 percent stake in Thomson Reuters Financial & Risk division for $11 billion; and the announced acquisition of commercial data, analytics, and insights company Dun & Bradstreet by an investment consortium that includes Thomas H. Lee Partners and CC Capital, for $6.66 billion.
  • Strategic acquirers accounted for 85 percent of total volume and 61 percent of total value in 2018.

2018 Key Trends

  • Total transaction volume in 2018 decreased by 11 percent over 2017, from 1,865 to 1,657.
  • Strategic volume in 2018 declined by 13 percent over 2017, from 1,615 to 1,403. Private equity backed volume remained nearly constant during this timeframe, at 254.
  • Total transaction value in 2018 fell by 31 percent over 2017, from $159.15 billion to $109.05 billion.
  • The median revenue multiple rose from 1.5x in 2017 to 2.0x in 2018. The median EBITDA multiple improved from 9.7x in 2017 to 10.6x in 2018.

M&A Market Overview

Berkery Noyes tracked 5,344 Media & Marketing transactions between 2016 and 2018, of which 1,140 disclosed financial terms, and calculated the aggregate value to be $476.23 billion. Based on known transaction values, we project values of 4,204 undisclosed transactions to be $61.37 billion, totaling $537.60 billion worth of transactions tracked over the past three years.

Disclosed median enterprise value multiples for all segments combined in this report during the last 36 months were 1.8x revenue and 10.3x EBITDA.