Media M&A Deals Dip, But Volume Up

Mergers and acquisition deal-making for media and telecommunications companies revealed a mixed picture in the second quarter.

The number of deals dropped to 194 from 244 in the first quarter of this year, according to PwC (PricewaterhouseCoopers). Second-quarter deals this year were also down versus second-quarter 2017, when the total was 219.

Still, second-quarter 2018 total deal volume was at $44.8 billion, up from $37.6 billion in the first quarter. Second-quarter 2017 deals, at 232, had a total value of $18 billion.

Some 70% of this year’s deals were valued between zero and $100 million; 16% were between $101 million and $500 million; and 11%, over a $1 billion. Six deals were valued at over 1 billion dollars.

The biggest was T-Mobile's announced $26.8 billion deal for Sprint. After this was a merger of two TV station groups: Gray Television’s $3.6 billion deal for Raycom Media, which will create the third-largest U.S. TV station group.

Since the start of this year, three companies have announced deals in the first half of 2018 were valued in excess of $5 billion.

For the first half of this year, there were 143 advertising/marketing deals; 97, internet/information; 54, publishing; 41, telecommunications; 33, film/content; 30, recreation/leisure; 26, broadcasting; 7, music, and 5, cable.

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