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Technology, Media and Entertainment M&A Trends

A new market study by Mergermarket, reveals that 84 percent of Technology, Media and Entertainment (TME) companies expect to see more cross-sector merger and acquisition (M&A) deals over the next two years.

The resulting report from this study outlines the rapidly evolving M&A landscape for global TME companies. This change is being driven by an increasingly fierce battle fought by TME firms who are attempting to gain a competitive edge in the market, via convergence.

In fact, 2014 saw new levels of convergence deals amounting to $34.5 billion, with this trend predicted to increase further, according to the latest worldwide assessment by the Mergermarket Group.

Cross-sector convergence varies widely across the TME sectors. Entertainment businesses are the most willing to branch out, with more than 33 percent planning non-entertainment purchases. This willingness has the potential to put acquisitive businesses ahead, but they must be aware of the potential risks involved in cross-sector acquisitions.

One major challenge for cross-sector acquirers is understanding a new area of business. This can be a steep learning curve. For a big tech company, the biggest challenge is just understanding the new marketplace.

The movie industry doesn’t operate in the same way as music, or the same way as computer games. Moreover, TME companies that are seeking growth are increasingly crossing borders -- with 57 percent saying their next acquisition is likely to be outside their home market.

Of those businesses in search of cross-border opportunities, 37 percent say they are most likely to target the Asia-Pacific region, followed by Western Europe (23 percent) and North America (17 percent).

These expectations must be set against the need for firms to understand the political and regulatory risks in the target markets. Besides, this desire to converge is not limited to the global giants within the industry.

There has also been a recent upsurge in so-called Quad Play deals, in which telecom service providers seek to become a one-stop shop for pay-TV, broadband internet access, fixed and mobile telephony.

"In the face of aggressive and agile competition, trusted business models can no longer be relied upon for growth. For many companies, survival increasingly hinges on developing capabilities beyond their traditional core, said Nick Cheek, global managing editor of Remark, the events and publications division of the Mergermarket Group.

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