November 8, 2010, 11:53 AM

E-commerce helps drive merger and acquisition activity in October

Digital media and e-commerce firms accounted for 24 M&A transactions.

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Merger and acquisition activity for the marketing, information and digital media and commerce  industries last month reached its highest level since May 2010. Overall, companies announced 85 transactions during October, a 6.3% increase from a year earlier, according to investment banking firm Petsky Prunier LLC.

98 transactions were announced in May. But while overall volume was up, the total valuation of the transactions, $2.6 billion, remained unchanged from October 2009. Within the sectors, digital media  and commerce accounted for 24 transactions with an estimated value of $1.08 billion, or 42% of the estimated total value for October. Social games and e-commerce were the most active subcategories for merger and acquisition activity within digital media and commerce sector. Each contributed five deals. 

Transactions included Amazon.com’s purchase of European private-sale site BuyVIP.com for $97.9 million; DeNA Co.’s purchase of Ngmoco Inc., a game developer for smart phones, for $303.0 million; and Autotrader.com’s acquisition of Kelley Blue Book, which provides valuations of new and used vehicles, for an estimated $500 million. Amazon is No. 1 in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide.

The digital advertising sector announced 15 transactions valued at an estimated $230.0 million during October. Five transactions in the digital video subcategory made it the most active segment within digital advertising, according to a Petsky Prunier analysis. The five transactions had an estimated value of $83.9 million and included Specific Media’s acquisition of Broadband Enterprises, an online video ad provider, for $55 million.

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