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Media, marketing M&A activity up 3%

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New York—Merger and acquisition activity in the media and marketing industry increased 3% to 1,611 transactions last year compared with 1,570 in 2011, according to investment bank Berkery Noyes. Aggregate transaction value increased 17%, to $76.23 billion last year from $65.41 billion in 2011, the report said. The media revenue multiple declined to 1.3x from 1.8x, while the median EBITDA multiple fell to 7.5x from 9.8x. Transaction volume in the exhibitions, conferences and seminars segment jumped 82% compared with 2011. The most active acquirer in the overall media and marketing industry in 2012 was agency holding company WPP. WPP's largest transaction was its announced acquisition of AKQA, a digital agency headquartered in San Francisco, for $540 million. M&A activity in the b-to-b publishing segment increased 4% last year, with a median revenue multiple of 2.0x and a median EBITDA multiple of 9.0x. “The ongoing trend toward nonprint-based delivery has led to changing business models in some instances,” said Kathleen Thomas, managing director at Berkery Noyes, in a statement. “This includes many along the spectrum from recurring revenue offerings to purely advertising-based-revenue ones. Nonetheless, strong original content is still king in the b-to-b marketplace, regardless of the delivery mechanism.”
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