Media and Tech Companies Swept Up in Buyout Frenzy

4798There's a big "for sale" sign sitting in the front lawns of many tech and media companies.
So far this year, U.S. companies have spent more than $100 billion buying up technology, media and telecom firms, says Dealogic. Global dealmaking in those industries is off to the strongest start since 2000, the year the tech-stock bubble peaked, says Thomson Reuters.

Huge media and technology deals -- including the $29.8 billion Dell buyout and Comcast's $16.7 billion purchase of the 49% of NBCUniversal it didn't already own from General Electric --- are the latest examples. Earlier this month, Liberty Global announced plans to buy cable giant Virgin Media for $16 billion.

Dealmaking in the technology, media and telecom industries is more than triple where it was at this point last year, says Dealogic. The 874 deals in these sectors account for more than half of total U.S. deal activity.

"Companies are flush with cash and looking to put money to work," says Richard Peterson of S&P Capital IQ. "You have buyers looking to acquire targets."

Wheeling and dealing in the tech and media industries is taking off, due to:

--Strong overall M&A activity. The media and tech industries are the busiest corners of what's been strong M&A activity overall. M&A activity is running at the best levels since 2005, Peterson says. The momentum continues from last year, when the number of U.S.-based companies that were bought rose 15.9% to 12,194, says Dealogic. M&A action intensified in the fourth quarter, headlined by deals such as Walt Disney buying Lucasfilm for $4.1 billion, Peterson says.

Source: USA Today | Matt Krantz and Roger Yu
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