M&A Changes Media Landscape With 545 Transactions Worth $26.6 Billion In Q1 2015

There were 545 merger and acquisition transactions in the media, information, marketing, software and tech-enabled services sector announced in the first quarter of 2015, valued at $26.6 billion, according to a report released Thursday by The Jordan, Edmiston Group, Inc. (JEGI), an independent investment bank.

Not surprisingly, Software & Tech-Enabled Services took the No. 1 spot in terms of number of transactions and deal value, with 346 deals valued at $13 billion Q1 2015. Marketing Services & Technology followed with 128 transactions generating $3.5 billion in deals during the quarter. Nearly half of the sector's transactions occurred in the traditional agency, digital agency and marketing technology sub-sectors.  
The ad technology sub-sector grew, with Nielsen's acquisition of eXelate contributing a reported $200 million, AppNexus' acquisition of Yieldex for a reported $100 million, and Vector Capital's acquisition of Triton Digital for an undisclosed amount.  



The ad agency secondary sector followed closely behind, given WPP's $250 million investment in Bruin Sports Capital, with the data and analytics sub-sector next, due to Kantar/WPP's investment in comScore for approximately $255 million.

The consumer media and technology sector declined in deal volume in Q1 2015, with 44 transactions compared to Q1 2014's 48 deals, but the value rose to $3.2 billion. Expedia's acquisitions of three online travel sites, Orbitz, Travelocity and Decolar for $1.7 billion, $280 million and $270 million, respectively was the most notable, followed by Rakuten's acquisition of OverDrive, e-book, audiobook and streaming video platform, for $410 million. Yelp's acquisition of online restaurant ordering platform Eat24Hours.com for $134 million; and Meredith’s acquisition of fitness magazine SHAPE from Weider Publications for $60 million.

M&A activity for the mobile media and technology sector rose in number of deals announced and deal value in the first quarter of 2015, to 54 and $2 billion, respectively. JEGI calls attention to Under Armour's acquisition of MyFitnessPal for $480; and PayPal's acquisition of mobile wallet of Paydiant for $280 million.

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