Some retailers launched online deals well in advance of Thanksgiving, Black Friday and Cyber Monday.
The M&A activity helped increase the sector’s transaction value 88.5% from a year ago.
Deals for digital media and e-commerce companies comprised 37% of the 224 merger and acquisition transactions among marketing, media, technology and service companies announced in February, according to investment banking firm Petsky Prunier LLC. It valued the 83 digital media and commerce deals at approximately $1.66 billion, or about 14% of the month’s total of $11.49 billion.
The volume of transactions among marketing, media, technology and service firms is up 2.8% from 218 in February 2011, and the estimated transaction value is up 88.5% from $6.1 billion. February’s value is the highest since September, during which $11.1 billion in deals were announced.
Within the digital media and commerce segment, e-commerce led the pack in terms of total value; Petsky Prunier tracked 19 deals worth a total of $796.3 million. One e-commerce transaction, Royal Ahold B.V.’s acquisition of Bol.com, a Netherlands-based book and entertainment e-retailer, accounted for approximately $469 million of that total. Bol.com is No. 48 in Internet Retailer’s Top 400 Europe Guide.
The mobile content/apps segment of digital media and commerce accounted for 20 transactions during the month with an estimated value of $151.6 million. The social media/apps segment accounted for 17 transactions during the month with an estimated value of $199.5 million.
The marketing technology sector accounted for 45 transactions valued at $855.0 million during February. The social technology segment accounted for seven transactions and $101.0 million. The content management sector accounted for five transactions and $179.4 million, the largest of which was Vocus Inc.’s $169 million acquisition of e-mail marketing software provider iContact Corp.