PwC: Media M&A Volume Rises in 2013

Deal volume increased in the entertainment, media and communications sector in the first nine months of the year, driven by heightened activity in the Internet/Information Services sector, as well as a few big cable transactions, according to PriceWaterhouseCoopers.

According to PwC, deal volume in the first nine months of 2013 rose to 648 announced transactions, compared to 594 at the same time last year. The biggest rise was in the Internet/Information Services sector, which counted 123 transactions in the period, up by 19 from 104 transactions a year ago. Publishing and Telecommunications, with an increase of 16 and 12 deals respectively, followed closely, with cable besting its 2012 deal volume by 2 transactions, ending the period with 13 announced deals.

On the cable and broadcasting side, Comcast took the top spot with its February transaction to acquire the remaining interest in NBC Universal it didn’t already own from General Electric Co. for $16.7 billion. Liberty Global’s acquisition of British cable company Virgin Media for $16.4 billion was second, followed by Liberty Media’s acquisition of a 27% interest in Charter Communications for $2.67 billion.

Private equity companies continued to play a role in the resurgence – PE firms represented about 20% of deal volume in the period, about the same level as 2012.

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