In our latest look at the UK business media and information sector, we explore the themes driving a segment of the M&A market that remains highly active despite political and economic uncertainties, including record levels of private equity investment, near all-time high valuations, and a strong community of entrepreneurial businesses seizing opportunity.
UK mid-market deal value in the business media and information sector tripled year-on-year in the 12 months to March 2019 to £1.9 billion, whilst deal volume more than doubled. The most active segments were professional information and live events, in which 13 and 9 deals were completed respectively. The majority of deals involved private equity investors either backing buy-outs of new investments or making add-on acquisitions for existing portfolio companies.
The UK business media and information sector currently holds 29 private equity portfolio companies representing total enterprise value, at entry, of £3.6 billion – an all-time record. Across the business media and information sector, private equity portfolio companies as a whole reported impressive trading performance, with average revenue growth of 14%. Reflecting the characteristics that insulate the sector from many uncertainties in the wider market, financial investors have continued to deploy significant capital into the sector during the past year.
Nick Field, Director at Livingstone, comments: “It’s clear from our research that the UK’s position as a global leader in business media and information services sector continues to strengthen, notwithstanding the political and economic uncertainties of Brexit. The growth in deal volumes seen across the sector reflects both strong valuations and a preference amongst acquirers for high quality, resilient business models. Recurring revenues, strong cashflows, scalability, and practical immunity to trade barriers are all bolstering the appeal of these businesses during a time of uncertainty.”
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