One for the M&A-Holes…
Who should buy and sell what in the midst of a turbulent 2022
It’s time for another edition of M&A porn. I personally find industry consolidation a little gross, but it’s also hard to look away. I can’t help myself!
So let’s engage in another round of M&A “who should buy whom” analysis. Partly this feels “gross” because I can’t help wondering if we’re heading for a (mostly terrible) future where all media companies consolidate down to just three or four companies. I jokingly wrote about this nightmare scenario few years back— as a strategy exercise — but the way some folks talk about consolidation, I think some business leaders want us to get there!
As a reminder, because it’s in my name, M&A by itself is NOT a strategy. Strategy is strategy. Sometimes M&A helps that strategy, and sometimes it doesn’t. (Disney buying Pixar, Marvel and Star Wars helped to build its “house of brands” strategy. AOL and AT&T buying Time/Warner Bros? Not a strategy.) Second reminder, these are not predictions. When it comes to M&A, it’s notoriously tough to guess ahead of time. Who saw Discovery of all companies buying Warner Bros., for example?
Before we start, the M&A landscape has shifted since the start of the year, and it’s worth reviewing what’s changed. Then we’ll look at the high-level landscape of who can actually afford to buy whom (the financials). And then one recommendation for each company.
Acquisition suggestions for Netflix, Disney, Comcast
Smaller targets for Apple, Amazon that wouldn’t spark antitrust
What parts Warners Bros. Discovery should sell now
Thoughts on Paramount, Sony
eOne, Lionsgate, AMC Theaters, AMC Networks, DAZN, A24