Digital Marketing Driving M&A Market, WPP Top Suitor
Questions may loom about the underlying health of the media economy, but at least one facet is experiencing exceptional growth – mergers and acquisitions – especially for marketing services related businesses. In a week in which Publicis announced the acquisition of BBH and its affiliates, and only a couple of weeks after WPP acquired AKQA, investment bank Berkery Noyes has released a mid-year report on the media and marketing industry’s M&A market indicating a voracious appetite for deals.
During the first six months of 2012, the number of transactions jumped to 834, up 6% over the first half of 2011. Total transaction value soared 27% to $31.51 billion.
“Marketing was the most active industry segment for first half 2012, accounting for 262 transactions and surpassing Internet media in transaction volume during the last twelve months,” the report notes, adding, “Although Internet media activity declined 2% compared to second half 2011, it remained 19% above its second half 2010 levels”
Not surprisingly, digital marketing services comprised nearly half (47%) of the deals in the overall marketing sector, which represents a 10% increase in digital marketing services deal volume year-over-year. WPP represented the largest acquirer in the digital marketing sub-segment, as well as in the overall media and marketing industry.