Marketing Tech Deal-Making Grows, Ad Holding Companies Active

Marketing, media and technology acquisitions and investment deals remained about the same in the first quarter of this year compared to the same period a year ago -- but rose versus the previous three-month period.

Investment banker Petsky Prunier says some 762 deals were made in the first quarter valued at $30.4 billion, versus 735 deals in the fourth quarter of 2015 valued at $33.4 billion. 

Versus the same period a year ago, the total value of first-quarter deals rose 27% (from $23.9 billion) with the number of deals roughly the same (762 in the first quarter 2016 versus 769 in first quarter 2015).

Marketing technology deals (including analytics, mobile technology, content management, and CRM) grew 5% to 243 transactions. Agency/marketing services (digital agency, public relations, loyalty/retention) gained 26% to 91 deals.



Media/advertising holding companies were some of the most active strategic buyers -- with the WPP Group making 11 transactions; Dentsu, 9; Interpublic Group, 4; and Publicis, 4. Other big deal-makers included Google, IBM and Microsoft, making four deals each in the period.

The overall top category is deals for digital media — ecommerce, mobile apps, social media apps, gaming and niche content — at 297. That's up 6% from the previous three-month period. Marketing technology deals were in second place. 

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