2018 was a tumultuous year for the UK economy. The predictions for 2019 are much the same with the continued uncertainty around the B word, slowing growth, weakened consumer confidence and political turmoil (to name a few) all hanging heavy on the UK economy.
However, it’s not all doom and gloom…particularly for M&A in the marketing communications sector which has had a strong Q1 2019.
According to the excellent Results International report, M&A in the sector grew 4% compared to Q4 18 (which itself was a record quarter), and 35% compared to Q1 18. The key driver for growth seems to be the acquisition of tech enabled companies with 41% of deals in Q1 19 being in the marketing tech space.
Will such growth continue? Whilst there are no guarantees, the signs are promising. The traditional networks are still acquiring (Dentsu made 5 acquisitions in Q1) and the consultancies continue to be active (Accenture leading the pack with 3 acquisitions in Q1). Private equity firms are also getting in on the action with a reported 88 deals in Q1.
So, is now the time to sell your agency?
To hear me lead a Q&A panel discussion on how best to prepare your agency for a sale, on Thursday 20 June, please register here. The panel will be made up of industry experts: John Farrell of John Farrell & Associates, Jackie Stevenson of The Brooklyn Brothers, Magnus Willis of Sparkler, Julie Langley of Results International and our own Jo Evans.
In Q1 19, the marketing sector M&A activity grew 4% compared to Q4 18 which was a record quarter, and 35% compared to Q1 18. This growth is increasingly driven by technology enabled companies.