The entertainment and media space has been frothier than others in the recent M&A frenzy. Mergers & Acquisitions speaks with EY global buy and integrate leader Brian Salsberg as he casts an eye forward on future areas of deal activity. “I think the headline is, ‘Is there any place that’s not a hotspot?’ That’s how robust the M&A market is right now,” he says.
Technology, media, and telecom deals led second quarter league tables with $511 billion in deal value. But the deal landscape for content and streaming could be less exciting in the near term after a thorough round of consolidation.
“That one is going to come to an end at some point because there aren’t enough grooms and brides left,” says Salsberg, declining to delve into specific companies that could merge. “A lot of these entities are getting very big; most people would say there’s a deal or two left.”
AT&T’s (NYSE: T) divestiture of its WarnerMedia unit to Discovery (Nasdaq: DISCA/B/K) for $96 billion was one of the sector’s largest transactions. That deal came months after Apollo’s $5 billion acquisition of Verizon Communications Inc.‘s (NYSE: VZ) media assets.
More fertile fields for dealmaking could lie in sports betting, Salsberg reasoned. Even recurrent takeover targets like William Hill have succumbed to the merger wave sweeping the sector, agreeing to a $4 billion acquisition by Caesars Entertainment (Nasdaq: CZR) after Apollo lost out.
“In the media entertainment space, there is a lot of activity in high growth new areas,” Salsberg reasons. “The sports betting space has been active in terms of consolidation; there’s room to go there as well.”
– Brandon Zero