Daily News: January 9, 2012

Survey: M&A for Media, Marketing Services to Increase in 2012

M&A advisor AdMedia Partners announced the findings of its 18th annual survey of senior executives at leading companies in the fields of content (traditional media and digital media) and marketing services (marketing communications and marketing/media technology) regarding the prospects for industry mergers and acquisitions in the coming year.

“Respondents were generally optimistic about prospects for their industries and their own businesses in the year ahead, and expect that strong M&A activity in 2011 will continue into 2012,” said Seth Alpert, managing director of AdMedia Partners. “They believe there will be an increase in M&A activity driven by strategic buyers with historic amounts of cash on their balance sheets, private equity firms with large amounts of uninvested capital and changing industry dynamics,” he added.

Specific survey findings include:

  • Fifty-nine percent of respondents expect to seek an acquisition, up markedly from last year when 40% had the same expectation.

  • Highlighting the fact that significant capital is sitting on the sidelines, 55% of respondents who anticipate making an acquisition expect to fund using existing cash reserves; in addition, 43% expect to raise outside equity (e.g., from a private equity firm) and 27% plan to use debt financing.

  • Almost half of respondents (48%) anticipate contemplating the sale of their company and/or subsidiary operation in 2012, a significant increase over the 36% who expressed this opinion for 2011.

  • Approximately three out of four respondents anticipate that M&A by strategic buyers will be up in 2012.

  • Almost half of respondents anticipate that M&A by financial buyers will be up in 2012.

  • The most popular areas of expansion interest within the services sector were analytics, social and mobile. User-generated content and mobile were the hottest topics for content respondents.

  • Respondents predict that valuations will remain strong in 2012, particularly for mobile marketing, social marketing, and digital media firms.

    For more details on the findings, access a free copy of the 2012 Mergers and Acquisitions Prospects for Media, Marketing Services and Related Technology Firms survey at www.admediapartners.com .

    AdMedia Partners is a provider of middle-market mergers and acquisitions advisory services to digital and traditional media, marketing and information businesses.