Media Deals Climb 52% In Q1 2012, Hit $32 Bil

Media deals quickened in the first half of 2012 -- with many mergers and acquisitions coming among smaller companies.

Media investment banker The Jordan, Edmiston Group, says the number of announced deals climbed 52% over 2011 levels, with 95% of the transactions valued at less than $100 million.

Overall, announced transaction value climbed about the same amount -- 49% -- to nearly $32 billion. Media value 2011 levels were at $21.3 billion. In the first half 2010, media deals were valued at $20.2 billion. Coming right in the middle of the recession, first-half 2009 deals were at a low $5.3 billion.

This year's rising results, according to Jordan Edmiston, also included a few multibillion-dollar transactions. Only five deals exceeded the top end of valuation -- over $1 billion.

This included Alibaba Group’s pending deal of 20% for its Yahoo shares for $7.1 billion. The China-based Alibaba Group creates Internet-based businesses-to business marketplaces. Another big deal was the $3.3 billion buyout of credit union TransUnion by Advent International and Goldman Sachs.

Most of the deals -- 37.2% -- came with marketing technology companies.



Recently, Microsoft announced a $1.2 billion deal for Yammer -- a social network portal creation company. The next biggest category came for digital agencies, which represented 14.7% of all media deals in the first half of 2012. The biggest of these was WPP Group's just-announced deal of AKQA for $540 million.

Media valuation of deals are still far lower than in the pre-recessionary economy. First-half 2007 deals were at $65.8 billion, with $42.7 billion in the first six months of 2006.

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