RTL Group, the European entertainment network, is to acquire a 65 percent majority stake in the Denver-based video advertising platform SpotXchange. RTL, which is controlled by German media conglomerate Bertelsmann, will pay $144 million for the company which was founded in 2007 by Michael Shehan (CEO) and Steve Swoboda (COO and CFO). RTL Group also has the opportunity to acquire the remaining shareholding in the future.
SpotXchange provides a comprehensive video advertising monetisation platform to hundreds of publishers including such as The Atlantic, Hearst Corporation, Meredith Video Studios, Mail Online, NDN and Adaptive Media. Over one billion auctions for video advertising impressions are transacted through the SpotXchange platform daily, with ads delivered to 335 million people in over 100 countries per month. The company currently has 180 employees with headquarters in Denver, Colorado, and offices in several US and international locations. SpotXchange’s current investors include H.I.G. Growth Partners, the dedicated growth capital investment affiliate of H.I.G. Capital.
The joint statement from Anke Schäferkordt and Guillaume de Posch, Co-CEOs of RTL Group said, “Following our investments in non-linear TV services and in multi-channel networks on Youtube, RTL Group has already become the leading European media company in terms of online video views. The logical next step in our strategy is a structural move into the area of digital monetization – improving our skills by adding innovative data- and technology-based competencies. SpotXchange is the perfect fit for RTL Group for such a move: it has a first-class management team that has built a leading, state-of-the-art platform for programmatic selling of online video advertising. With its impressive growth story and strong positioning in the United States, SpotXchange also represents a unique opportunity to enhance RTL Group’s presence in the world’s biggest and most advanced media market.”
RTL Group will appoint three of five members of the Board of SpotXchange. Michael Shehan and Steve Swoboda will continue to manage the day-to-day operations of the company, reporting to its Board.
RTL Group and the management team of SpotXchange have developed a joint growth plan to keep SpotXchange on its current growth path in the US and Asian-Pacific region, while simultaneously focusing on an accelerated roll-out in Europe.
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