Quiet second half seals 2008 M&A downturn

There was a marked drop in both the volume and value of UK media merger and acquisition deals in 2008, according to PricewaterhouseCoopers. The number of completed deals was down 43% year on year in 2008. The combined value of UK media deals fell 85% to EUR4bn, compared with EUR26.6bn in 2007.

The rate of decline in media M&A deals was lower elsewhere in Europe where, on average, the number fell 28% year on year.

Following the dizzy heights of 2007 M&A activity, last year the European media sector experienced a dearth of mega-deals, as the aggregate value of transactions fell 66%.

Although a respectable 35 UK deals totalling EUR3.8bn took place in the first six months of 2008, the market then fell quiet, with only 10 deals worth a combined EUR318m in the second half of 2008.

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