Deal activity declines in marketing and digital media sector

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New York—M&A activity in the marketing, advertising and digital media sectors plunged in the first quarter, according to a report released Wednesday by investment bank Pestky Prunier.

Deal volume dropped 24% from the year-earlier period to 174. The value suffered an even greater fall in the same time frame, dropping 78% to $2.8 billion. The firm said the most active segment was marketing technology, which was highlighted by Autonomy Corp.’s $618 million acquisition of Interwoven Inc., a content management software company.

“While deal volume has slowed and valuations have definitely declined, we continue to see money being invested in the market at early stages and to fund growth,” John Prunier, partner of Petsky Prunier, said in a statement. “We expect to see strategic buyers driving M&A activity through the year, as those with capital resources invest in building out and filling holes in their business models.”

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