AdMedia: M&A activity expected to remain strong

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New York—Mergers and acquisitions in the media and marketing industries are expected to be driven by strategic buyers more than by private equity this year, according to a survey by M&A firm AdMedia Partners. While financial buyers remain significant players, their growth in activity is slowing compared with strategic buyers, the survey found. According to the report, which surveyed 7,400 senior executives at content, marketing services and marketing technology companies online in November, 81% of respondents indicated that acquisitions by strategic buyers will increase. A little less than half (46%) said mergers and acquisitions driven by financial buyers will be up in the coming year, and just over a third (36%) believe that activity will be flat. There was a significant drop in reported interest from financial buyers in 2012, the survey found, with the number of respondents who were approached decreasing from 43% in 2011 to 26%. Respondents at 88% of companies with at least $50 million in revenue said they plan to seek an acquisition in 2013, the survey found. To fund these deals, 48% said they would use debt, up from 27% in the year-earlier survey. The report also indicated that interest in areas such as analytics, digital media, mobile and social marketing has decreased from previous years, though mobile remains the area of greatest expected opportunity.
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