2019 Key Highlights

The most active acquirer in 2019, either directly or through an affiliated business, was Dentsu Inc. with ten transactions.

The industry’s largest deal in 2019 was Thomson Reuters and Blackstone’s sale of Refinitiv, a financial data analytics provider, to the London Stock Exchange for $27 billion.

There were 256 financially sponsored transactions with an aggregate value of $26.83 billion, representing 16 percent of the total volume and 21 percent of the total value, respectively.

2019 Key Trends

Total transaction volume in 2019 decreased by six percent over 2018, from 1,675 to 1,571.

Strategic volume in 2019 declined by seven percent over 2018, from 1,417 to 1,317. Private equity backed volume remained nearly constant during this timeframe, at 256.

Total transaction value in 2019 increased by 16 percent over 2018, from $109.93 billion to $127.77 billion.

The median revenue multiple rose from 2.0x in 2018 to 2.3x in 2019. The median EBITDA multiple fell from 10.7x in 2018 to 8.3x in 2019.    

M&A Market Overview

Berkery Noyes tracked 5,113 Media & Marketing transactions between 2017 and 2019, of which 1,027 disclosed financial terms, and calculated the aggregate value to be $331.78 billion. Based on known transaction values, we project values of 4,086 undisclosed transactions to be $61.15 billion, totaling $392.93 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 9.6x EBITDA.

The largest Media & Marketing deal tracked by Berkery Noyes between 2017 and 2019 was The Walt Disney Company’s acquisition of 21st Century Fox, which included the Twentieth Century Fox Film and Television studios, along with cable and international TV businesses, for $66.1 billion in 2017.