Burgeoning innovation, rising corporate investment and a year-end rush to beat the tax man drove robust mergers and acquisitions in 2012 for the media, information, marketing and technology sectors. M&A surged to 1,351 transactions for the year, or 50% more than in 2011, at a total value of nearly $75 billion, according to The Jordan, Edmiston Group, Inc. (JEGI) (www.jegi.com), the leading independent investment bank specializing in M&A advisory services across these markets.From Marlin Associates, their December update of media transactions (pdf). From the press release:
This record-setting volume was driven primarily by smaller deals, as approximately 90% of M&A transactions were less than $50 million in value. However, 14 deals topped $1 billion for the year, including six in Q4.
Over 400 of these transactions closed in the fourth quarter, many in December, as sellers sought to beat the calendar on anticipated tax changes in 2013. Indeed, of seventeen transactions closed this year by JEGI, five closed the week before Christmas.
Investment in the interactive markets, including B2B and B2C Online Media & Technology, Mobile Media & Technology, and Marketing Services & Technology, continued to drive the bulk of M&A activity, accounting for 70% of all transactions for the year and 62% of value. Marketing automation companies were in great demand, with acquisitions by Salesforce, Adobe, Oracle and ExactTarget.
Continued growth in digital ad spending helped propel this avalanche of interactive M&A. Internet and mobile advertising revenue in the U.S. reached $9.26 billion in Q3, the largest quarter on record, according to the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB). These figures showed an 18% climb over Q3 2011 and a 6% increase over Q2 2012.
Randall Rothenberg, President and CEO, IAB, said, “These historic investments in interactive point to the strong results that marketers are receiving from digital marketing. It is a highly effective medium for interacting and engaging consumers, who are no longer passive, but are active participants in contemporary media online, through social media, and on-the-go with mobile.”
While interactive continues to grow rapidly, the broader media and information industry saw increases in M&A across more “traditional” sectors, such as B2B Media (up 143% in number of deals and nearly 8x in deal value), Database & Information Services (up 40% and 87%), and Exhibitions & Conference (up 56% and 94%).
Healthcare Information & Technology, another hot area of investment, saw M&A deal activity increase 86% in 2012, with more than $10 billion of deal value for the year. Chris Calton recently joined JEGI as a Managing Director to oversee the firm’s healthcare information and technology practice.
The end of another year is almost upon us. Following this letter is our December 2012 Market Update. As you will see, it provides our latest sense of M&A values, activity and trends for the dozen plus technology, information and healthcare sectors that we follow.
We hope your year has been happy, healthy and prosperous.
This month we saw sizable activity announced, including Knight Capital’s takeover offer from Getco that is valued as high as $1.8Bn. However, the vast majority of transactions were well under $200M, for example FICO’s acquisition of CR Software and Brady’s agreement to acquire Systems Alternative International. One theme we’ve observed is the increasing demand for middle- and back- office IT, as evidenced by the acquisitions of logistics software provider JDA Software and document capture solution provider Encore Imaging Systems.
Healthcare M&A activity continues to be strong as well, with certain transactions demonstrating notable patterns in the industry. For example, Humana has now joined Aetna (Medicity) and United (Axolotl) in purchasing an HIE vendor (Certify Data Systems). Dell divested of its healthcare RCM business to Conifer Health. And lastly, McKesson has had the most active few months in some years in purchasing a variety of HIT assets, most recently acquiring Emendo, a New Zealand-based software company.
Other notable deals include:Berkery Noyes 3rd Quarter Update from October (pdf):
• Apollo Global Management agreed to acquire McGraw-Hill Education for $2.5Bn;
• RedPrairie Corporation agreed to acquire JDA Software (NASDAQ:JDAS) for $1.9Bn;
• Knight Capital Group (NYSE:KCG) received a takeover offer from Getco;
• Equifax (NYSE:EFX) agreed to acquire CSC Credit Services for $1Bn;
• Hearst agreed to acquire Milliman Care Guidelines;
• Nets Holding acquired Luottokunta for $209M; and
• MSCI (NYSE:MSCI) agreed to acquire IPD Group for $125M.
The most active acquirer through Q3 2012 was Apax Partners with 10 transactions. Four of these occurred within Q3 2012: Solarsoft Business Systems, RivalEdge, CWIEME Ltd, and ClaimLogic, Inc.Who's Buying Whom - Third Quarter 2012 Reports firm Whitestone Communications
The largest announced transaction in Q3 2012 and year-to-date was The Carlyle Group's acquisition of Getty Images from Hellman & Friedman LLC for $3.3 billion.
Total transaction volume in Q3 2012 decreased by four percent over Q2 2012, from 119 to 114.
Total transaction value in Q3 2012 increased by 10 percent over Q2 2012, from $11.4 billion to $12.5 billion.
The median revenue multiple from 2011 through the 1st 3 Quarters of 2012 decreased by 28 percent, from 1.8x to 1.3x.
The median EBITDA multiple from 2011 through the 1st 3 Quarters of 2012 increased by eight percent, from 8.8x to 9.5x.
Who's Buying Whom reports for the Third Quarter 2012, the most complete reference on acquisition activity in the Internet, Information, Publishing and Training industries. Whitestone specializes in representing buyers and sellers of companies in these fields.Veronis Suhler Annual Forecast (from September):
Click here to Download your report (September)
Spending within the U.S. Communications Industry will increase 5.2% in 2012 to reach $1.189 trillion as consumers and businesses increasingly embrace digital technology and return to spending levels not seen since before the recent worldwide economic downturn,
according to the 2012 Forecast released today by Veronis Suhler Stevenson (VSS), a global capital private investment firm targeting companies in the information, education, communications and business services industries in North America and Europe.
The 26th edition of the VSS Communications Industry Forecast 2012-16 (www.vssforecast.com) found that U.S. Communications Industry spending grew 4.4% in 2011 to $1.129 trillion despite a sluggish economy in which nominal Gross Domestic Product expanded 3.9%. Spending rose at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 2.7% in the 2006-2011 forecast period, surpassing GDP by a 0.3 percentage point. VSS expects the Communications Industry to grow at a 5.2% CAGR to $1.455 trillion by 2016, almost two times the growth rate during the past five years. At that pace, the Communications
Industry will remain the fifth-largest industry among 15 economic sectors in 2016.
Once seen as a trend in only selected pockets of the U.S. Communications Industry, digital
communications and services – encompassing content, technology and user access -- has firmly
established itself as the driving force of growth across all of its sectors, segments and subsegments.
Through the use of ever-evolving platforms and channels, digital is giving a rising number ofAdmedia Partners annual report isn't completed yet: AdMedia's 2013 Survey on M&A Prospects will be available in early 2013. To be among the first to receive the results, please join our mailing list.
communications companies the power to more effectively target and connect with both consumer and business customers. Demand for digital and mobile devices continues to grow steadily, ensuring that there will be a similar increase in the number of end users. Traditional communications companies that relied heavily on print products continue to make the transition to digital, and those that fully embrace it are the ones most likely to remain relevant to their audiences.