This will be a good year for content creators to put themselves on the block, researchers at PwC project today in a report about likely M&A activity in 2013. Corporate and private equity firms will be looking to bulk up on entertainment, driven in part by tech companies’ need for content that provides “a level of security on prospective cash flows,” the analysis says. Entertainment, media and communications companies “are ahead of the pack in pursuing deals, partnerships and joint ventures to address the accelerated pace of change in consumer behavior,” says PwC U.S. entertainment and media deals partner Bart Spiegel. “Media companies are investing in robust content-management systems and dynamic analytics to not only operate efficiently but also to take advantage of new opportunities.” Some buyers will want entertainment to serve growing overseas markets led by the so-called BRIC countries (Brazil, Russia, India and China). PwC’s bullish forecast follows a robust year for dealmakers: There were 40 film/content transactions last year with a collective value of $9B — including Disney’s $4.1B acquisition of Lucasfilm — the report says. That’s up from 2011, when the industry had 39 deals valued at $1.1B. Forecasters also expect to see additional deals in cable (with buyers attracted to systems’ broadband services), broadcasting (another way to secure distribution) and publishing (Time Warner and Tribune are preparing to sell assets).
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