The number of media and entertainment media and acquisitions deals fell by 49 percent in 2009, according to a report by PricewaterhouseCoopers.
The accounting firm's 2010 U.S. Entertainment & Media M&A Insights report said the deals totaled $77.4 billion last year, the lowest level since 2004. There were 714 deals, down 29 percent from 2008 and the smallest number in seven years.
Completed entertainment and media transactions comprised 12.3 percent and 13.3 percent of total mergers and acquisitions in value and volume, respectively.
Deals continued to favor online media and there was continued interest from private equity investment firms, with a total of 126 transactions completed. These investors were interested in companies in advertising and marketing, publishing and Internet software and services.
The report also said that several companies in the sector were struggling under heavy debt and seeking to restructure or file for bankruptcy.
In 2009, Chapter 11 bankruptcy filings among U.S. entertainment and media companies tripled to 30. These are companies with pre-Chapter 11 liabilities of more than $100 million.
Investors will be bargain hunting in broadcasting, cable, casinos and gaming and certain publishing businesses.
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