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Berkery Noyes Releases Media and Marketing Industry M&A Report For Third Quarter 2017

Wednesday, October 04, 2017

NEW YORK — October 4, 2017 — Berkery Noyes, an independent mid-market investment bank, today released its third quarter 2017 mergers and acquisitions trend report for the Media and Marketing Industry. The report analyzes M&A activity during the three-month period and compares it with data for the six previous quarters.

Deal volume remained almost constant on a quarterly basis. M&A activity year-to-date improved four percent compared to the corresponding timeframe in 2016. Aggregate value rose 30 percent between second and third quarter 2017, from $27.5 billion to $35.7 billion.

Three of the industry’s top ten highest value acquisitions thus far in 2017, two of which involved television networks, occurred during the third quarter. The largest transaction in third quarter 2017 and year-to-date was Discovery Communications’ announced acquisition of Scripps Networks Interactive, a developer of lifestyle content for television and the Internet, for $11.9 billion.

Deal activity in the Marketing segment increased seven percent during the third quarter. Notable acquirers in the segment over the past three months included Accenture, PWC, and Deloitte. Accenture acquired Wire Stone, a creative marketing agency; Clearhead, a digital optimization company; and Brand Learning, a marketing and sales capability consultancy. Audit and consulting firm PWC acquired Optimisa Research, which offers marketing consulting and research related services; and Deloitte was responsible for two segment deals with the acquisitions of Acne, a creative marketing agency headquartered in Stockholm; and certain assets of Blab, a predictive social intelligence platform.

The number of transactions in the Internet Media segment declined 11 percent during third quarter 2017. However, volume in the segment year-to-date stayed nearly the same compared to the first three quarters of 2016. Notable Internet Media deals over the past three months included The Walt Disney Company’s announced acquisition of a majority stake in BAMTech, a technology and video streaming company previously owned by the media and Internet business of Major League Baseball, for $1.6 billion; Red Venture’s announced acquisition of Bankrate, an online publisher, aggregator, and distributor of personal finance content, for $1.4 billion; and CoStar Group’s announced acquisition of ForRent, which offers a digital advertising service through a network of four multifamily websites, for $385 million.

Deal flow in the B2B Publishing and Information segment decreased 12 percent on a quarter-to-quarter basis, from 50 to 44 transactions. Compared to the first three quarters of 2016, volume in the segment year-to-date improved nine percent. Notable segment transactions during the quarter included Genstar Capital’s announced acquisition of Institutional Shareholder Services, a provider of corporate governance and responsible investment solutions to financial market participants, for $720 million; and PRA Health Sciences’ announced acquisition of Symphony Health Solutions, which offers data, analytics, and technology solutions for biopharmaceutical manufacturers, healthcare providers, and payers, for $530 million.

“B2B information producers continue to be attractive acquisition targets when they provide high quality data and information on a subscription basis,” said Mary Jo Zandy, Managing Director at Berkery Noyes. “Users continue to demand high quality content, accessibility through many mediums, and more interaction with content creators. Each of these factors are driving interest in business information providers.”

M&A volume in the Consumer Publishing segment experienced a slight uptick over the past quarter, from 44 to 47 deals. Deal flow year-to-date increased 19 percent relative to the first three quarters of 2016. Notable segment transactions in third quarter 2017 included New Media Investment Group’s announced acquisition of Morris Publishing Group’s newspapers and related assets for $120 million; and Ergon Capital Partners’ announced acquisition of Keesing Media, a publisher of puzzle magazines in Europe, for $120 million.

As for additional areas covered in the report, volume in the Broadcasting segment increased 29 percent, from 41 to 53 transactions. Deal activity in the Exhibitions, Conferences, and Events segment saw volume decrease 19 percent on a quarterly basis, from 37 to 30 deals. Relative to the corresponding time period in 2016, segment volume in the first three quarters of 2017 increased 30 percent.

The Entertainment Content segment underwent a 12 percent decrease in volume during the quarter, from 60 to 53 deals. This followed a 28 percent rise during the second quarter. Notable Entertainment transactions in third quarter 2017 included Scientific Games’ announced acquisition of NYX Gaming Group, an online gambling technology provider, for $631 million; Aristocrat Leisure’s announced acquisition of Plarium, a social gaming company, for $500 million; and Sony Pictures Television’s announced acquisition of Funimation, an anime distributor, for $143 million.

A copy of the MEDIA AND MARKETING INDUSTRY M&A REPORT FOR THIRD QUARTER 2017 is available at the Berkery Noyes website.