Hot Topic - Media Mergers and Acquisitions
Nobody in business, media or otherwise, wants to be the little guy. Hence, all executives are schooled in thinking big. Their bankers tell them to think big because the paper work for a big deal is just the same as a small deal. There is no incentive to be anything but big.
Getting money from the web is no longer about simply selling ads. Thereís branded content, merchandising, talent management, all kinds of goodies. Multiple revenue streams excite investors, traditional ad money so last century. The quest for scale, however, is eternal.
The digital age has made one factor more important than all others: scale. To thrive, if not only survive, media operators view consolidation as primary business strategy. Shareholders and stock traders agree; other insecurities pale. Above all, what is familiar is favored.
Big media houses are finishing 2013 with a sense of renewal. The financial picture for most isnít getting much better but it isnít getting much worse. Digital transition is a foregone conclusion but the end result remains hazy. Possibilities, once so numerous, all lead one direction.
Media investment strategies have certainly shifted. Private equity and venture money goes where it always does, straight for the door as soon as it can. Thereís a time for it. And a time for operators to take their place.
The great financial crisis has caused considerable pain in the media sector. And, too, thereís been the hysteria as new media takes more and more attention space. Buy the rumor, sell the facts, say the traders.
A great revival in media mergers and acquisitions seems ever so much closer. Financial markets are still fat with cash as are the big global media groups. Yet huge deals, big enough to rearrange the dinner table, remain just a shout away.
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