Merger and acquisition (M&A) activity in the marketing services and technology sector saw strong growth in 2012, according to a new report from The Jordan, Edmiston Group (JEGI). There were 458 announced transactions during the year for a total value of more than $20 billion, highlighted by Nielsen’s acquisition of Arbitron Research for $1.2 billion. The number of deals in the marketing services and tech sector grew by 67% year-over-year and the dollar value of those deals increased by 36%.
The next-most active sector in the media, information, marketing and technology area was B2C online media and technology, with 252 deals (up 18%) valued at almost $10.1 billion (up 33%). Also among the most active sectors was mobile media and technology, with 124 deals (up 72%) valued at roughly $3.5 billion (up 77%). Other highlights include:
- B2B media M&A deal volume growing by 143% (to 34), and value soaring 731% (to $411 million);
- B2B online media and technology M&A deal volume up 33% to 83, and deal value jumping 100% to $12 billion;
- Deal volume (up 56% to 50) and value (up 94% to $874 million) growing in the exhibitions and conferences sector; and
- Deal value declining 91% (to $277 million) despite a 34% increase in deal volume (to 43) in the consumer magazine sector, indicating an increase in the number of smaller deals.
Overall, the media, information, marketing and tech area showed solid M&A growth, with deal volume up 50% to 1,351 and deal value up 43% to $74.7 billion. That’s the largest overall deal value since 2007 ($104.4 billion), and the largest transaction volume recorded, signaling a flurry of smaller deals. Indeed, 90% were less than $50 million in value, though 14 topped $1 billion.