2021 Key Highlights

Seven of the industry’s top ten highest value deals in 2021 were completed by strategic acquirers.

There were 178 financially sponsored transactions with an aggregate value of $29.09 billion, representing 17 percent of the total volume and 30 percent of the total value, respectively.

2021 Key Trends

Total transaction volume in 2021 decreased by 14 percent over 2020, from 1,214 to 1,038.

Private equity backed volume remained nearly constant during this timeframe, at 178. Strategic volume declined by 17 percent, from 1,033 to 860.

Total transaction value in 2021 increased by 17 percent over 2020, from $82.88 billion to $96.97 billion.

The median revenue multiple rose from 2.5x in 2020 to 2.9x in 2021. The median EBITDA multiple improved from 10.3x in 2020 to 13.7x in 2021.

Notable growth sectors on an annual basis included digital marketing, which saw M&A activity increase six percent, from 226 to 240 deals; and video games, which gained five percent, from 147 to 155 deals.

M&A Market Overview

Berkery Noyes tracked 3,828 Media & Marketing transactions between 2019 and 2021, of which 703 disclosed financial terms, and calculated the aggregate value to be $244.81 billion. Based on known transaction values, we project values of 3,125 undisclosed transactions to be $62.12 billion, totaling $306.93 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 2.6x revenue and 10.3x EBITDA.

Over the past three years, deals in the $10-$20 million range received a median enterprise value multiple of 2.3x revenue, compared to 4.0x revenue for those in the $160 million and above range.