According to Berkery Noyes’ Media and Marketing report for Q1 2017, industry deal volume underwent a two percent uptick over the past three months. Aggregate value fell from $145 billion to $15.8 billion.
Of note, two of the industry’s top three highest value acquisitions last year occurred in Q4 2016. This included AT&T’s announced acquisition of Time Warner for $105.3 billion, or $85.4 billion if net debt is excluded. If the Time Warner deal is omitted, value decreased 59 percent, which was about the same decline in value when examined on a year-over-year basis.
Total volume in the B2B Publishing and Information segment increased 33 percent in Q1 2017. This made it the sector with the largest rise in volume over the past three months. High profile B2B related deals in Q1 2017 included Gartner’s acquisition of CEB Global, a corporate research and advisory firm, for $3.3 billion; and Solera Holdings’ acquisition of Autodata Limited, which provides technical information to the automotive aftermarket, for $422 million.
Other notable B2B transactions during the quarter were Vitruvian Partners’ acquisition of OAG Worldwide, a provider of flight status and scheduling information, for $215 million in a management buyout from AXIO Data Group; Zoopla Property Group’s acquisition of Hometrack, a provider of residential property market insights and analytics, for $152 million; and Dun & Bradstreet’s acquisition of Avention, a multi-channel platform that offers business information and sales enablement solutions, for $150 million.
As for other select markets covered in the report, volume in the Internet Media segment increased 18 percent on a quarterly basis. Internet Media also nearly surpassed the Marketing segment as the industry’s most active sector in Q1 2017. The Exhibitions, Conferences and Seminars segment saw volume improve ten percent, which followed a 48 percent rise in Q4 2016. Deal activity in the Consumer Publishing segment fell 22 percent in Q1 2017 but remained about constant year-over-year.
“Companies that offer events, subscription-based data offerings and/or marketing services, are likely achieving growth and are attractive to both strategic and private equity acquirers,” said Mary Jo Zandy, Managing Director at Berkery Noyes. “New acquirers such as TBG AG, a Zurich-based family office that just announced the acquisition of DTN, the U.S. real-time weather service to the agricultural sector, enter to create a dynamic M&A market. Large strategics’ divestitures of non-core properties and private equity timely exiting portfolio companies, coupled with private company sellers, have fueled this sellers’ market.”