Ciesco Commentary 27 January 2021

Campaign features Ciesco Global M&A Review 2020


There was a 19% drop in mergers and acquisitions transactions worldwide in 2020 in marketing, digital media, traditional media and martech, according to advisory group Ciesco.

Ciesco reported 1,091 M&A transactions in 2020, with a total value of $55.9bn, a 50% decline over the previous year.

Digital media, traditional media and martech were the most popular sectors for deal-making, collectively representing more than half of all deal volume in 2020. As companies preserved cash during a pandemic year, big-ticket deals of more than $1bn took a back seat, with only 13 such transactions in 2020 compared with 28 in 2019, Ciesco reported.

Global holding networks spent much of 2020 restructuring their operations in the face of declining revenues and took the opportunity to divest underperforming legacy assets. Stripped of these assets, Ciesco sees an opportunity for M&A to strengthen data, tech and e-commerce capabilities in 2021.

Chris Sahota, Founder & CEO, Ciesco
"As companies and networks carefully plot their M&A strategy in a volatile market, they are focusing on specific niches for inorganic growth. The report demonstrates the attractiveness of data and technology-driven business models to financial investors. Through last year’s turbulence, businesses are learning to adapt and future-proof their operations."
Chris Sahota, Founder & CEO, Ciesco