Will European media deals switch back on in 2010?
Welcome to the 2010 edition of Media M&A Insights. This annual report by PricewaterhouseCoopers forecasts the outlook for M&A activity in the European media sector in 2010 and reviews the challenges the sector faced during 2009.
2009 was a rollercoaster year and no-one predicted that the impact of the global credit crunch would be as deep or as dramatic as we've seen. Levels of M&A activity in the sector have dropped significantly, with only 90 deals worth a combined â‚¬6.3bn completing across Europe last year - a considerable fall from the 135 deals worth â‚¬17.1bn that we saw in 2008.
But as we start to see signs of recovery in the main economies of Europe, there are also encouraging signs of life in the M&A market. Both UK and Europe saw an increase in the number of deals in the second half of 2009 and there is a cautious sense of optimism of a progressive step-up in activity through 2010.
We continue to see the gradual opening of the leverage lending markets, which will lead to greater activity from PE buyers in 2010. We are still a long way from the heady heights of 2007, but as companies begin to think about positioning themselves to take full advantage of the anticipated upswing, 2010 should see a marked upturn in M&A activity.