WPP finishes 2015 at most prolific acquirer in media marketing industry

WPP, the worlds largest holding company by revenue, finished 2015 as the most prolific acquirer in the media and marketing industry, according to data from corporate advisory firm CIESCO. There were 1,105 deals in marketing technology, mobile, digital media, advertising, data and analytics and related sectors last year, a 7.5% increase from the prior year, according to CIESCO’s analysis. The total disclosed value of these deals was $60.7 billion, though the true value of these transactions is likely much higher since not all of the deals disclosed financial terms.
Wall Street Journal

In 2014, the total disclosed value of deals in the sector was $52.2 billion, excluding Facebook’s massive acquisition of WhatsApp. WPP announced 40 deals in 2015, down from 52 in the prior year when it also ranked No. 1, Ciesco reported. WPP’s major transactions last year included GroupM’s acquisition of digital media buyer Essence.

The six biggest ad holding companies announced 107 deals in 2015, representing 10% of the deals in Ciesco’s report. Five ad holding companies placed among the 10 most active buyers based on number of deals. The other most prolific acquirers in Ciesco’s report included ad tech firm Gravity4, consulting firm Accenture ,China-based manufacturer Leo Group, private-equity firm Vista Equity Partners and social media company Twitter.

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