Industry Thoughts: Recent Mergers & Acquisitions

KnotThe Public Relations / Corporate Communications vendor space has seen serious consolidation this year. The most recognized of which is the Cision/Vocus tie up through GTCR. Peter Granat has pushed further with the acquisition of Visible Technologies last week. Exciting things happening there – would love to talk to Peter and share his thoughts first hand.

WPP purchased Precise who was on the market earlier this year which is going to be interesting since WPP owns Kantar Media as well. The Financial Times broke the news in January that Exponent, the private equity firm which purchased Gorkana Group in 2010 for 25M pounds are looking to sell the media monitoring company. No further public word on that at this time.

With all this movement and as part of a related series on measurement I asked a few thought leaders how they see the consolidation impacting the space. Here are their thoughts:

Critical Mention – Dave Armon, President

“It’s an exciting time for the public relations and marketing services sector. It’s clear that we are in a growth market, and that there’s a ton of innovation and investment that will benefit professionals with better tools and platforms. Critical Mention is participating in this growth by providing the TV and radio layer to the vast majority of media monitoring and business intelligence platforms through our API.”

moreover Technologies – Mark Denn, Managing Director

“When there are two big players in a market both fighting for the same revenue with similar offerings the obvious thing is for one to buy the other. However in a saturated market where there is more than just the big two to choose from, beware of  the dangers of acquisition which may lie ahead. What happens if most clients have used both at some time, and actually have already chosen their favourite. What if they feel they are both as bad as each other. How will they feel when their current supplier is acquired and disappears into the horizon. Bullied?? Maybe.

Time to look around. When a market has more than just two big players there is plenty of opportunity for the client. Don’t be bullied the time is nigh for a change.”

PRIME Research – Mark Weiner, CEO

“It [GTCR Acquisition] creates an opportunity for PRIME as more companies move to automation. It leaves more space for research based consultation which is what we provide. Data will become more “commoditized” which will leave it open to the human analysis quality.”

Salience Insight – Angela Jeffrey, US Strategic Director

“We are seeing consolidation throughout the industry, which will likely improve and strengthen product/service offerings clients.  It will be interesting to see if the new owners [GTCR] will strengthen customer service and deep analysis, or move toward all automation.  The jury is still out, of course!”



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