AdMedia Partners has released its latest industry survey, “2012 Mergers and Acquisitions Prospects for Media, Marketing Services and Related Technology Firms.’
The report reveals the viewpoints of buyers and sellers regarding 2012 valuations, advertising spending, M&A activity, and key trends affecting all industry participants, such as the changing nature of content delivery, consumption and monetization.
Respondents were generally optimistic about prospects for their industries and their own businesses in the year ahead, and expect that strong M&A activity in 2011 will continue into 2012. They believe there will be an increase in M&A activity driven by strategic buyers with historic amounts of cash on their balance sheets, private equity firms with large amounts of uninvested capital and changing industry dynamics.
Specific survey findings include:
- Fifty-nine percent of respondents expect to seek an acquisition, up markedly from last year when 40% had the same expectation.
- Highlighting the fact that significant capital is sitting on the sidelines, 55% of respondents who anticipate making an acquisition expect to fund using existing cash reserves; in addition, 43% expect to raise outside equity (e.g., from a private equity firm) and 27% plan to use debt financing.
- Almost half of respondents (48%) anticipate contemplating the sale of their company and/or subsidiary operation in 2012, a significant increase over the 36% who expressed this opinion in 2011.
- Approximately three out of four respondents anticipate that M&A by strategic buyers will be up in 2012.
- Almost half of respondents anticipate that M&A by financial buyers will be up in 2012.
- The most popular areas of expansion interest within the services sector were analytics, social and mobile. User-generated content and mobile were hottest topics for content respondents.
- Respondents predict that valuations will remain strong in 2012, particularly for mobile marketing, social marketing, and digital media firms.