Study: Media Execs Bullish on M&A

Media executives are again taking a bullish stance on mergers and acquisitions according to a new study by EY (formerly Ernst & Young), with 50% saying they have three or more deals in the pipeline over the next 12 months.

In EY’s 16th annual Global Capital Barometer -- Media & Entertainment report, EY said a positive outlook on the economy – 60% of M&E execs said they expect improved economic growth in the next 12 months and 57% intend to actively pursue acquisitions during that time frame – is driving deal appetites. According to EY, 50% of executives said they have three or more deals in the pipeline and 47% expect an increase in their current pipeline over the next 12 months. Companies are looking at their business structure more often, with 70% of executives saying they have increased the frequency of the portfolio review process to capitalize on disruptive forces. These reviews are leading to a variety of deals, with 46% of executives saying they plan to enter into alliances, M&A activities or joint ventures with other companies to create value.

At the same time, 52% say they plan to outsource any routine operations or back-office functions in the next 12 months.

Uncertainty in the geopolitical climate could affect some decision-making. More than two-thirds of executives (69%) cite a broad range of geopolitical or emerging policy concerns as the greatest risk to their business. Government intervention and policies — from trade to the movement of labor — are top macroeconomic concerns of global executives, according to the report.

EY surveyed about 2,300 senior level executives in 43 countries during March and April, of which 105 respondents were from media and entertainment companies, for the survey.