Media, Marketing M&As Rise, Publicis/Omnicom Merger Top Deal

Companies in media, information, marketing and related technology sectors spent $88.6 billion to complete 1,394 mergers and acquisitions (M&A) in 2013.

The Publicis/Omnicom merger at $21.9 billion dominated the trend with the value of announced deals rising 19%, while the number of deals remained relatively flat compared with 2012, according to investment banking firm The Jordan, Edmiston Group Inc. (JEGI), which specializes in M&A activity.

Some of the top 30 technology deals belong to Baidu, Yahoo and Google. In the Mobile Media & Technology sector, China search engine Baidu's $1.8 billion acquisition of 91 Wireless Websoft ranked No. 6.

The report released Thursday points to Marketing & Interactive Services leading the trend with 479 announced transactions valued at $45.1 billion, accounting for approximately 66% of total deal volume and nearly 50% of value in 2013. The total includes the Publicis/Omnicom merger.

Healthcare Information & Technology ranked the second most active sector, totaling $10.5 billion, followed by Mobile Media & Technology, with $7.4 billion in M&A, more than double the total for 2012. The Education Information, Technology and Training, Database and Information Services and B2C Online Media & Technology sectors each closed the year with $6 billion in announced transaction value.

There were more than 14 transactions each worth more than $1 billion, with four of the top five in the Marketing & Interactive Services sector.

Aside from the Publicis and Omnicom merger, the top five included the acquisitions of email marketer ExactTarget by Salesforce.com, sports marketing agency IMG Worldwide by William Morris and Silver Lake, and shopper marketing group Valassis Communications by Harland Clarke, a unit of MacAndrews & Forbes. The acquisition of Springer Science+Business Media by BC Partners was the only top-five deal outside of marketing.

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