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Confidence in the European media sector to fuel continued M&A in 2005

Confidence in the European media sector is set to continue in 2005 according to the latest Media Insights report from PricewaterhouseCoopers Corporate Finance.  This outlook follows a levelling out of activity in 2004 following strong growth in the second half of 2003, demonstrating a steady climb-back from the trough of 2002 - an indication that the M&A arena will be worth watching in 2005.


The number of transactions is anticipated to exceed 110 in 2005, compared to 97 in 2004 (up 14%) and 85 in 2003.  However, there was a slight decrease in combined value from  16.8 billion in 2003 to  16.3 billion during 2004.


Nearly 60% of European media deals completed in the second half of 2003, whereas M&A activity during 2004 was evenly spread.  Forty-seven transactions were signed off in the first six months of 2004 and 50 in the second half of the year.


The UK media market experienced particularly strong transaction growth in 2004 with deal values rising to  8 billion ( 3 billion in 2003) and volumes increasing to 43 (31 in 2003).  In contrast, mainland Europe remained flat in terms of deal volumes and showed a sharp decline in deal values - falling from  13 billion in 2003 to  8 billion in 2004.

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