r4e to acquire Sold Out

r4ereach4entertainment enterprises plc, the entertainment marketing communications group, is to acquire Agency Press Limited (trading as “Sold Out”), an independent full-service advertising agency.

r4e will pay an initial consideration of £3.94 million in cash and £250,000 in 20,833,333 Ordinary Shares, plus an additional deferred payment based on the financial performance of Sold Out during the period commencing on 1 June 2017 to 31 December 2021. The aggregate of the Initial Consideration and the Deferred Consideration is capped at £10 million. The deal will be part funded by a conditional placing which is expected to raise £3 million.

London-based integrated agency Sold Out, has specialised in arts and entertainment advertising for over 25 years. Clients include S.J.M. Concerts, AEG Presents, Live Nation and Cirque Du Soleil. Its services include campaign development, media planning and buying, events, partnerships, design and creative, broadcast and digital media production. In the financial year ended 31 May 2018, Sold Out had gross profit of £4.1 million, adjusted EBITDA of £1.7 million and profit before tax of £1.3 million.

Lord Michael Grade, Chairman of R4E, commented: “The acquisition will mark a significant milestone for the Group and play a major role in diversifing our client base beyond just theatre. Sold Out has built an excellent reputation within the entertainment sector and has a high-quality, long term client base to match. It has delivered many successful campaigns across live music, festivals, sports and events, which are all areas where r4e is seeking to move in to. Bringing Sold Out into the Group will enable us to strengthen our entire marketing and advertising offering.”

UK, London

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Nielsen acquires Sorensen Media

NielsenMeasurement and data analytics company Nielsen has acquired Sorenson Media, an addressable TV technology provider that will help transform TV from a one-to-many to a one-to-one medium by powering addressable ad delivery and measurement. The terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

With the deal, Nielsen announced the launch of a new technology, product and commercial initiative, Nielsen Advanced Video Advertising, that will focus on expanding and innovating addressable advertising for Smart TVs and beyond.

Over the last several years, Nielsen has made a number of strategic acquisitions that have strengthened its technology offerings and positioned it to thrive in the addressable TV future. It acquired Qterics, a Smart TV software and privacy management company. Integrated into the firmware layer of millions of Smart TVs, Gracenote’s ACR technology provides the ability for real-time, frame-level ad detection regardless of source or platform. And the most recent acquisition of Sorenson Media completes Nielsen’s go-to-market technology stack with an end-to-end ad delivery solution enabling addressable advertising for TV at scale.

David Kenny, CEO of Nielsen, said, “It’s clear that a significant portion of TV advertising will be addressable long into the future. With the continued evolution of our Total Audience measurement, underpinned by decades of trust, transparency and independence, it was evident that we needed to bring our unique set of technology assets and talent to tackle the greatest challenges the TV advertising industry is facing. And with the Sorenson Media acquisition, we can create improved value and efficiency across the entire media chain – from ad targeting and delivery to measurement and attribution – and make addressable TV more of a reality.”

UK, Oxford & USA, Salt Lake City, UT

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Bauer to acquire Wireless Local Stations

Bauer Media GroupBauer Media Group is to acquire Wireless local stations across England and Wales. Wireless is made up of fifteen licences across Lancashire, Cheshire, Shropshire, Derbyshire, West Yorkshire, Staffordshire and South Wales. The terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Paul Keenan, CEO of Bauer Media and European Radio, commented, “We are delighted with our acquisition of Wireless local licences. This group of established, successful stations complements our existing portfolio and extends our reach and local advertising offer to new areas of the UK.”

Wireless local stations, with a weekly reach of 850,000 listeners, build on Bauer’s previous successful acquisitions of Celador Radio and Lincs FM Group.

He added, “The Wireless local stations acquisition further underlines our belief in the UK and in radio. Outstanding content and growing audiences have driven three years of consecutive records for UK radio ad revenue. As the medium grows ever-more digital and adapts to new listening devices the opportunity expands to offer new and interesting services for listeners and advertisers. It’s a very exciting time to be in the audio business.”

UK, London & Germany, Hamburg

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ZDF Enterprises invests in Nadcon Film

ZDF EnterprisesZDF Enterprises, the commercial arm of German public broadcaster ZDF, has acquired shares in Nadcon Film, gaining a majority stake in the company. The terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Nadcon Film was founded in 2012 by Peter Nadermann and Constantin Film, and specialises in co-producing film and television projects, mainly with international partners. Nadermann will remain the managing director of the German company following ZDF Enterprises’ takeover of the majority of the shares previously held by Constantin Film.

Fred Burcksen, president and CEO of ZDF Enterprises, said, “We are pleased to be able to resume our successful collaboration while taking on a corporate structure. ZDF Enterprises and Peter Nadermann set the trend many years ago by being the first to invest in Scandinavian crime series and successfully distribute them around the globe. The result: the widely recognised international interest in ‘Nordic Noir’ remains as strong and steady as ever. We are confident that we will be able to come up with new ideas and create trends within this new cooperation.”

Germany, Mainz & Munich

RTL Netherlands acquires media company BrandDeli

RTL NetherlandsRTL Netherlands is to acquire BrandDeli, the sales house for the Discovery, Fox and Viacom brand portfolio for an undisclosed amount. The acquisition is the result of RTL Netherlands, Discovery Benelux, Fox Networks Group Benelux and Viacom International Media Networks entering into a strategic sales partnership as of 1 January 2019.

RTL will be granted the right to sell advertising space for at least three years for the Discovery, Fox and Viacom brand portfolio, offering a wider range of spot time, branded partnerships and online (video and display) advertising space.

Advertisers will have access to a larger overall reach, especially in younger target groups in both daytime and prime time slots. Discovery, Fox and Viacom also keep the opportunity to sell their own airtime.

Ton Rozestraten, CCO RTL Netherlands, said, “In five years, BrandDeli has grown into a successful company that we look at with admiration. Cooperation enables us to market an even wider and more varied range of products with the beautiful brands that BrandDeli represents. It fits in with our growth strategy to strengthen our position as a local player within the globalising playing field. Like no other, we are able to reach the masses with high-quality programmes and digital propositions. By combining this strength with BrandDeli’s rich cross-media offering (apps, social media, linear TV and websites), we offer advertisers access to an even more varied and growing fan base.”

Netherlands, Hilversum & Amsterdam

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Blue Ant acquires Saloon Media

Blue Ant MediaCanadian broadcaster, producer and distributor Blue Ant Media has acquired Toronto-based factual production company Saloon Media as part of its ongoing expansion in North America. The move will see Saloon’s CEO Michael Kot, executive producers Steve Gamester and Paul Kilback, and head of production Betty Orr join Blue Ant’s global production unit. The terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Blue Ant has already brought NHNZ (New Zealand), Beach House Pictures (Singapore), Antenna Pictures (London), Blue Ant Digital Studios (LA), Look Mom! Productions (Toronto) and Northern Pictures (Sydney) under the unit’s control in recent years.

Saloon launched in 2013, and recent credits include the CSA-nominated series Mummies Alive for History (Canada), Smithsonian Channel (US) and Yesterday (UK). It has also worked on Tornado Hunters for CMT, coproduced See No Evil for Investigation Discovery with UK indie Arrow Media, and made Hunting Nazi Treasure for History (Canada), American Heroes Channel (US) and More4 (UK).

Sam Sniderman, Blue Ant’s EVP global production, said, ““Blue Ant Media is committed to growing its content business in both Canada and the United States. The acquisition of Saloon Media is a key step in the execution of this strategy, as their award-winning factual content and notable creative talent fit perfectly within our content growth strategy in North America.”

Canada, Toronto

Comcast outbids Fox to acquire Sky in £30BN deal

Comcast CorporationThe Comcast Corporation is to acquire Sky after an unusual blind bidding auction moderated by the UK Takeover Panel saw their offer of £17.28 per share overshadow Fox’s £15.67 rival offer, for a total of £30.6 billion in cash for the entire issued and to be issued Sky share capital. The bid has already been accepted by Sky’s independent directors and shareholders now have until 11 October to decide whether to accept the recommended offer.

The acquisition ends a two-year bidding war and follows Comcast’s unsuccessful attempt to take over Fox in June, when it lost out to Disney. Sky has 26 million customers across Europe, and has backed the production of shows for Amazon, HBO and Showtime. It’s also well known for its sports broadcasting, such as its Premier League channel. Comcast will soon have a much larger international presence in these fields.

Jeremy Darroch, Sky’s group chief executive, said: “As part of a broader Comcast we believe we will be able to continue to grow and strengthen our position as Europe’s leading direct to consumer media company. Today’s outcome is down to the hard work of tens of thousands of people who have built and developed this business together over the last 30 years. Sky has never stood still, and with Comcast our momentum will only increase.”

USA, Philadelphia, PA & UK, London