Media & Marketing transaction volume decreased six percent over the past three months, from 395 to 370. Aggregate value fell 66 percent, from $80.7 billion to $27.5 billion. This was due in major part to The Walt Disney Company’s announced acquisition of 21st Century Fox for $66.1 billion in Q4 2017. Total value gained 32 percent on a year-over-year basis.
Financial sponsors were responsible for three of the industry’s top ten highest value deals in Q1 2018. The largest overall transaction year-to-date was a Blackstone Group led consortium’s announced acquisition of a 55 percent stake in Thomson Reuters Financial & Risk division for $11 billion. This was one of the largest deals ever completed by Blackstone.
Deal flow in the Internet Media segment increased 25 percent in Q1 2018. This made it the sector with the largest quarterly rise in volume. Internet Media also nearly surpassed the Marketing segment as the industry’s most active sector in Q1 2018.
M&A activity in the Marketing segment decreased 21 percent on a quarterly basis. The largest Marketing deal year-to-date was Ocelot Partners’ announced acquisition of Ocean Outdoor, a digital out-of-home advertising company, for $280 million. This was the only segment transaction to reach the industry’s list of top ten highest value acquisitions during the quarter.
The number of deals in the B2B Publishing and Information segment saw a slight uptick over the past three months, whereas activity in the Consumer Publishing segment experienced a minor decline. The highest value Consumer Publishing transaction year-to-date was Tronc’s sale of The Los Angeles Times and San Diego Tribune to billionaire Patrick Soon-Shiong of Nant Capital for $590 million. This includes the assumption of $90 million in pension liabilities.