Marcoms M&A picks up in Q2 with 17 PR firms acquired

There were a total of 246 marcoms mergers and acquisitions deals in Q2 2015, with 17 of these for PR firms, according to research from Results International.

Those 246 deals represents a rise from 218 in the first three months of the year, and compares with 267 in Q1 2014 and 199 in Q2 2014, the specialist marcoms M&A consultancy found.

The most active area for acquisitions was full-service digital firms, with 26 deals, followed by the 17 PR firms.

The top buyer was WPP, which made 12 acquisitions in Q2 2015, compared with just three in Q1. WPP has since acquired a PR firm in Germany. Dentsu Aegis Group was just behind with 10 and remains the most prolific buyer for the first half of the year with 19 deals, covering around four per cent of the global market. Publicis and Havas took the third and fourth slots in Q2, respectively.

Just under half (47 per cent) of firms bought in the period were based North America.

Julia Crawley-Boevey, director at Results International, said: "A lot of this activity is coming from new and emerging buyers. With Deloitte and Accenture back on the acquisition trail, plus increasing interest from businesses in China and APAC, it’s clear that well-run independent marketing services companies are a very attractive prospect for groups keen to increase their involvement in this space."

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