WPP was the most active buyer in marketing communications last year, closing 54 deals, according to M&A advisers Results International. The next biggest player was Publicis, with 19 deals, followed by Dentsu Aegis at 16. Interpublic was the biggest spender in mobile, with three of its eight deals coming from the sector. Only seven deals came under the social media banner, of which five were made by WPP.
Jim Houghton, a partner at Results International, said, “There were no gangbuster deals in 2013, like WPP [buying] AKQA or Publicis and LBi. Instead, there were a lot more early-stage tech deals, and quite a few that were about strengthening management teams. The other big driver was geography, consolidating the supply chain for clients.”
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