The number of media-related mergers and acquisitions in the first three months of this year was about double up from the same period a year ago, says the accountancy firm Grant Thornton – 67 compared with 35.
The advertising sector accounted for most deals (32). But ad firms were cheap – whilst these deals totalled £41 million, the industry-wide value of all 67 deals was £2.5 billion.
The publishing sector accounted for 24 deals, unchanged from the previous quarter, but their value rose from £157 million to £800 million.
Grant Thornton media corporate finance partner Dominic Bolton: “We are not back to the heady days of 2007, but the figures are tremendously encouraging, particularly compared to 2010, when activity rebounded strongly from the lows we saw in 2009 and have been steadily increasing quarter by quarter throughout the year.
“”Even excluding the EMI debt for equity swap (£2.2bn) and the newly announced familial tie up between Shine and News Corp (NSDQ: NWS) (£415m), values were close to five times more than the Q1 2010 equivalent. “