Adobe has not made a lot of deals so far this year — just one, in fact. But it’s huge — the proposed acquisition of B2B cloud marketing platform Marketo for $4.75 billion, which was announced in September.
It’s the biggest deal in the media and marketing sector through the first 10 months of the year, according to marketing consultant R3 Worldwide, and puts the martech giant atop its M&A ranking year-to-date.
Alibaba is No. 1 on the list, also with one big deal: its $2.2 billion stake in digital OOH company Focus Media.
Interpublic Group is third, thanks mostly to its roughly $2 billion acquisition of Acxiom, which it completed in early October.
With its August acquisition of AppNexus for about $1.6 billion, AT&T is ranked fourth, and Insight Venture Partners rounds out the top five with its $1.1 billion purchase of Episerver.
Dentsu has also been extremely active on the M&A front this year, with a total of 23 deals per the R3 tally — with seven in October, including live events producer Branded Ltd. and Lisbon-based creative agency Partners. R3 estimates the total value of Dentsu’s deals so far this year at about $684 million, putting it at number seven on the year-to-date M&A ranking.
Accenture and Omnicom are ranked ninth and tenth, respectively, with the consultant doing five deals this year so far (including MXM and Mackevision), worth an estimated total $609 million. Omnicom has plunked down $550 million for four deals, including United Digital Group of Germany’s media and performance marketing business.
WPP has been fairly aggressive as well, with 15 deals on the year so far, including Gorilla Group, Autumn Worldwide and India’s Madhouse. Total value for the deals is an estimated $464 million, ranking the holding company 12th on R3’s M&A table.