The last decade has seen a rise and fall in Global Network acquisition numbers with Emerging Groups and Institutional Buyers both filling the void in recent years. Our analysis is based on full-scale acquisitions completed by a selected cohort of buyers in the media & technology M&A market. The charts which follow are the results of our analysis and highlight how the market has changed. They are all interactive so click into them to see more.



Taking a deeper dive into the data and focusing our analysis on strategic buyers in 2010 and 2019, the decline of the Global Networks and emergence of Emerging Groups is even clearer to see. Whereas Global Networks were responsible for 82% of these transactions at the beginning of the decade, this fell to just 31% in 2019. Using our interactive pie charts below, you are able to see how the market has evolved and the new key buyers that have emerged in each cohort.



The infographics below demonstrate how the key buyers have varied across the decade, firstly showing aggregated annual movements by key buyer group and secondly the key buyers in each year.




As we move into the new decade, we expect Institutional Buyers, such as KKR, and Emerging Digital Groups, such as S4 Capital, to remain hungry for exciting, dynamic, tech-enabled media businesses, in particular.

After 6 years of declining M&A activity among the traditional Global Networks, we also believe 2019 could prove to be the bottom of the cycle. Following several years of restructuring, the likes of WPP should be ready to re-enter the market and look to complete more acquisitions in 2020 than they did in 2019.

The emergence of these two new buyer groups along with the traditional Global Networks re-entering the fray, means there’s a wider range of buyers competing for the best assets than ever before – great news for media businesses that are looking to sell or are seeking investment.



Source: Capital IQ / WY Partners analysis

Our analysis is based on full-scale acquisitions completed by a selected cohort of buyers in the media & technology M&A market, broken into three main categories:


Our search parameters captured all acquisitions of majority stakes within the following sectors: Management Consulting Services, Advertising, Entertainment Production Companies, Internet Software, Multimedia Software, Information Management Software, Customer Relationship Management (CRM) Software, Enterprise Data Management
Source: Capital IQ / WY Partners analysis