More Media M&A, Biz Growth Predicted For '11

M&A on the riseA new study from AdMedia Partners, a merger and acquisitions advisory firm, shows that 78% of executives at content-producing (traditional and digital media) companies believe M&A activity by "strategic buyers" will heat up next year.

That's in line with 58% of those surveyed saying the economy will be more robust next year. (That amount is below the 70% who in 2009 -- when the economy was further struggling -- expected a pick-up in 2010.)

An additional 29% of executives in the new survey expect their businesses to grow 20%-plus in 2011.

The survey of 8,100 domestic and international executives was Web-based. Among the respondents, 46% were from marketing services-type companies, 20% from content companies and 6% were tabbed investors or lenders.

Among all media sectors, the survey found that executives expect online media businesses will bring the highest multiples of EBITDA in valuations in 2011, with 49% saying that would be 8x or more.



Among the reasons cited for executives possibly engaging in 2011 M&A activity, 47% said "strategic refocusing" would be a reason, while the same amount said attractive buying opportunities. A slight 14% said they do not expect to engage in M&A activity in 2011.

Among the executives, 44% said they would like to bolster their business in social media, and 41% in mobile.

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