LionTree’s Aryeh Bourkoff Predicts “Golden Age” Of Mergers, Acquisitions

Consumer Electronics Show

LionTreeFounder and Chief Executive Aryeh B. Bourkoff said Hollywood is poised for a new Golden Age.

“We think it’s the Golden Age of mergers and acquisitions,” Bourkoff said in a keynote address today at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.

Bourkoff, whose investment banking firm has advised clients on over $300 billion of industry shaping transactions, speaks with a certain authority on such matters — especially in the wake of the Walt Disney Co.’s announced $52.4 billion bid to acquire much of 21st Century Fox’s film and television assets.

“We’re in a transition moment,” said Bourkoff.

The winners will be those companies that learn how best to align their investments with what consumers value, Bourkoff said. Netflix spends billions on content — and grows subscribers quarter over quarter, while cable operators spend billions and watch their subscriber numbers plummet, he said.

The topic saw second life in a subsequent keynote, in which A&E Networks CEO Nancy Dubuc, Marco CEO and Founder Charles D. King and YouTube’s Robert Kyncl sounded various notes of agreement.

“It’s going to be a big merger year,” said Dubuc, adding, “There’s also not much left. You know, I think we’re faced with that reality.”

Dubuc said A&E has sought to carve out its niche programming to specific, rather than broad audiences. That’s also the playbook for Marco, the studio behind the Netflix film Mudboud, which aims to be the authoritative voice for people of color.

“I see is a tremendous opportunities for the smaller and mid-sized companies that do super-serve, that have an audience that do have a brand,” King said. “They’ll find interesting opportunities to partner with entities as the marketplace shakes out.”

Kyncl, as chief business officer of YouTube, made the argument for scale — and the need to aggregate volumes of content, then tailor those entertainment offerings to the individual consumer. Such “super-aggregation” is the only way to survive in an increasingly fragmented media marketplace.

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