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Media M&A Volume Grew in 2Q, PwC Report Says

Merger and acquisition activity in the U.S. media and telecommunications sector picked up slightly in the second quarter with a few megadeals boosting dollars volume, according to a new report from PwC.

There were 159 deals in the second quarter, down from 219 a year ago. But this year’s deals were worth $36.6 billion, more than double the $18 million value of last year’s deals.

Both the number of deals and the volume were up from the first quarter, PwC said.

The bulk of this year’s volume came from megadeals.

The biggest deals in the quarter were Digital Colony Partners and EQT Partners acquiring Zayo Group Holdings for $14.3 billion, Sinclair Broadcast Group buying the Fox Regional Sports Networks from The Walt Disney Co. for $9.6 billion, Publicis Groupe purchasing Epsilon Data Management for $4.4 billion, AT&T selling its stake in Hulu for $1.43 billion and Nexstar selling stations to Tegna and E.W. Scripps for $1.25 billion.

Noting AT&T's sale of its Hulu stake and Comcast’s sale of its stake to Disney earlier this year, PwC noted that “while content has historically been the key factor behind acquisitions in the film/visual content sub-sector, 2019 has seen content platforms driving much of the deal activity.”