Ciesco Market Intelligence 1 February 2015

Ciesco publishes 2014 Global M&A Review


An extensive research report analysing the global M&A activity in the Technology-enabled Media & Marketing sectors, with an Outlook for 2015.

Ciesco is a boutique M&A advisory firm, focusing on the media, marketing, and related technology sectors. Our team tracks all M&A activity in the sector and publishes the key findings, along with our analysis, insights, and outlook, in an annually published report.


We tracked 1,028 transactions in the space in 2014.

Total disclosed value was $116bn. This includes the 2 mega deals:  Comcast’s $46.2bn acquisition of Time Warner Cable, and Facebook’s $22bn acquisition of WhatsApp. As not all M&A transactions disclose their deal value, the true total value would be significantly higher.

Geographically, the number of deals increased in every region. The US continued to command the most deal activity, with 482 deals recorded (47%) – almost half of the overall transactions in 2014. The UK retained second place with 151 deals (15%) and Western European markets overtook APAC with 147 deals (14%) compared to 136 deals (13%) in the APAC region. There was an increase in the volume of cross-border deal activity; in particular, Asian companies made a significant impact on the M&A landscape as they continued to acquire targets in Western markets with ever-increasing deal values.

In LatAm, Brazil saw a strong surge in deal activity, responsible for 13 of the 17 transactions in the region. This was up from 5 deals in 2013.

WPP was the most active buyer in the sector, making 52 acquisitions in 2014; they also held this title in 2013, with 54 acquisitions made. Publicis acquired 23 companies in 2014, including the $3.7bn acquisition of Sapient.

We witnessed further evidence of consultancies moving into agency space – most notably PwC, Deloitte Digital, and Boston Consulting Group. Accenture also entered the sector as an emerging buyer.



For a copy of the full 30-page report, including detailed analysis on:

  • Deal statistics, volumes, values;
  • Notable deals;
  • Buyer landscape;
  • Emerging buyers;
  • Private equity activity;
  • Geographic overview;
  • Cross-border activity;
  • Sectors; and
  • Ciesco’s outlook for 2015;

please click the link below:

Download the 2014 Global M&A Review