The mergers and acquisitions marketplace for the media industry saw the total value of deals increase 9% from $43 billion in 2010 to $47 billion in 2011, according to The Jordan, Edmiston Group, an investment bank and financial consultancy serving the media business.
The total number of deals increased 1.7% from 881 to 896. That’s up from $31 billion and 606 deals in 2009, but far short of 2007's peak of 872 deals valued at $104 billion.
One of the most popular areas of M&A activity was online marketing and interactive services, with 291 deals worth $15 billion, including eBay's acquisition of GSI Commerce for $2.4 billion; KKR, Silverlake, and TCV's acquisition of GoDaddy for $2.25 billion; and Oracle's acquisition of RightNow Technologies and Endeca Technologies, dealing with customer experience and online marketing, for $1.5 billion and $1.08 billion, respectively.
JEG sorted online media and technology deals into two main categories: business-to-consumer, with 214 deals worth $7.6 billion, and business-to-business, worth $6 billion. Here, JEG noted that the B2C category was down from 229 deals worth $8.4 billion in 2010, while the B2B category was up sharply from 61 deals worth $2.5 billion in 2010.
The number of deals in the mobile media and technology space decreased from 77 deals in 2010 to 72 deals in 2011, but the total value increased from $1.4 billion to $1.9 billion. These results may reflect increasing consolidation in the mobile marketing field.
In an interesting twist, some of the biggest deals in 2011 were seen in the consumer magazine business, with 32 deals worth a total $3.2 billion, including Apax Partners' buyout of Trader Corporation from Yellow Media for $745 million in March; Hearst Corporation's acquisition of Lagardère’s international magazine group for $651 million in February, and Axel Springer’s acquisition of WAZ Media Group for $613 million in October.
Focusing on the top 32 deals by value, JEG noted that 25% of the buyers were private-equity firms, with the remainder being bought by strategic acquirers.