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BtoB

Marketing M&A activity soars in first half

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New York—Deal activity in the marketing industry soared in the first half, reaching a record $34.2 billion in combined value, according to investment banker Petsky Prunier. That was a 134% increase from the first half of 2006.

Petsky Prunier said two “macro themes” were at work. First, activity in the interactive segment “reached a pinnacle” with deals such as Google’s buyout of DoubleClick, and Microsoft Corp.’s acquisition of aQuantive. The other major theme was private equity buyers going after large targets such as Acxiom Corp. and Alliance Data Systems Corp. amid generous financing markets.

Traditional marketing services deals accounted for $19.0 billion in value in the first half, followed by digital marketing services ($12.1 billion), digital content and commerce ($1.8 billion) and marketing technology ($1.4 billion).

—Carol Krol

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