FRONT PAGE: Mid-sized groups 'could be bought'

Mid-sized marcoms groups such as Huntsworth, Next 15 and Chime could see themselves snapped up in acquisitions by larger listed companies, analysts have predicted.

Top 150 cover
Top 150 cover

Media analysts and investment brokers have predicted that the economic downturn will result in ­unprecedented M&A activity, specifically for mid-sized groups.

The prediction comes as PRWeek's Top 150, published this week, shows growth in recently acquired agencies such as M:Communications.

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‘The quoted sector looks quite attractive, as valuations are low,' said Andrew Walsh, director of research for media at Landsbanki Sec­urities. ‘This could result in acquisition by bigger outfits - more of the larger WPP types.'

Meanwhile, Michelle Holford, a marketing services analyst at M&A specialist Livingstone Partners, highlighted agencies in the tech, health and digital sectors, saying she has seen potential buyers showing interest in such agencies.

She described these sectors as having ‘higher margins and a loyal client base' - seen as crucial in an economic downturn.

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