GroupM to acquire majority stake in The Glitch in India

GroupMWPP‘s wholly-owned global media investment group, GroupM, is to acquire a majority stake in The Glitch, a digitally-led creative agency. The terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

The Glitch was founded in 2009 and employs around 200 people in Mumbai and Delhi. The Glitch’s full-service capabilities include digital, video and content strategy, interactive design technology, ecommerce, branding and media planning. Clients include Unilever, Netflix, OYO Rooms, Shutterstock, Tinder and others in the entertainment, beauty and FMCG sectors.

The Glitch’s revenues for the year ending 31 March 2017 were around INR 214 million with gross assets of around INR 175 million as at the same date.

C.V.L. Srinivas, country manager for WPP India and chief executive GroupM South Asia, said, “The communications ecosystem in India has evolved dramatically in the last few years and GroupM continues to lead the market in creating cutting-edge solutions that leverage data, technology and creativity. With The Glitch, we found a partner that brings exciting creative and content skills that can leverage our unique assets to create effective solutions for our clients.”

USA, New York, NY & India, Mumbai & Delhi

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Viacom acquires online conference VidCon

ViacomAmerican multinational media conglomerate Viacom has acquired VidCon, host of the world’s largest multi-day conference for the global online community.

With more than 30,000 attendees and 80-plus sponsors (including, for many years, Viacom), at its flagship Anaheim event, VidCon has become the largest multi-day conference of its kind and cemented itself as a leading event for the worldwide online video community. And while VidCon has already carried this momentum into events in Amsterdam and Melbourne, Viacom’s global network of platforms and properties give it the resources to further increase that reach both internationally and within the United States.

Jason Jordan, Viacom executive vice president of Multiplatform Strategy and Operations, said, “VidCon has become the foremost gathering place for the passionate online video community, and the access to talent, experts and education that VidCon provides for attendees is unparalleled. We’re excited to partner with the team to help achieve their vision and expand VidCon’s reach around the world while maintaining the grassroots energy and authenticity that makes the experience so unique and special to so many.”

USA, New York, NY & Missoula, MT

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Next Fifteen Communications Group acquires Brandwidth

Next15Next 15, the digital communications group, has acquired the digital innovation agency Brandwidth.

The initial consideration for the acquisition is £6.2 million, which will be settled with £4.9 million of cash and the issue of 292,235 new ordinary shares in Next 15. Further deferred consideration may be payable in September 2018 of up to £3.3 million and April 2020 of up to £0.8 million based on the EBIT performance of Brandwidth in the year ending 30 June 2018. The maximum total consideration of £10.3m represents a 5.5x multiple of Brandwidth’s adjusted EBIT in the year ended 30 June 2017. The acquisition is expected to be earnings enhancing for Next 15 in the year to 31 January 2019.

For the year ended 30 June 2017, Brandwidth reported adjusted net revenues of £7.3 million, adjusted EBIT of £1.9 million and adjusted profit before tax of £1.9 million. The joint CEOs, Phil Goodman and Jason Jones, and the Chairman, Andrew Strange, will continue to lead the business which includes clients such as Toyota, Royal Caribbean, Citroen, Kia and Vodafone.

Tim Dyson, CEO of Next 15, commented: “Brandwidth is a great addition to Next 15. It brings significant digital skills to the Group, in particular we are excited to be able to offer clients its capabilities around the use of voice. We see voice, through platforms such as Google Home and Amazon’s Alexa, as a highly disruptive form of marketing. Their knowledge and experience of working with these technologies are of immense value.”

UK, London

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Meredith Corporation completes acquisition of Time Inc.

MeredithMeredith Corporation has completed its acquisition of Time Inc., with February 2018 the first day of operations for the combined company. Time Inc. shareholders received $18.50 per share in an all-cash transaction valued at $2.8 billion originally announced on 26 November 2017. Meredith also announced fiscal 2018 second quarter and first half results.

Meredith Corporation Chairman and CEO Stephen M. Lacy said, “With this acquisition, we are creating a premier media and marketing company serving 200 million American consumers that’s positioned for growth across industry-leading digital, television, print, video, mobile, and social platforms. The combined portfolio joins the rich content-creation capabilities of many of the media industry’s strongest national brands with a powerful local television business that is generating record earnings.”

USA, New York, NY & Des Moines, Iowa

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RELX Group to acquire ThreatMetrix

RELXRELX Group is to acquire ThreatMetrix, a digital identity company that helps businesses prevent online fraud, for £580m in cash.

ThreatMetrix is headquartered in San Jose, California and founded in 2005. ThreatMetrix’s technology analyses connections among devices, locations, anonymised identity information and threat intelligence, and combines this data with behavioural analytics to identify high-risk digital behaviour and transactions in real time.

ThreatMetrix has client relationships across financial services, e-commerce, and media sectors and offers authentication solutions for account origination, payments, “card not present” transactions and account logins.

ThreatMetrix’s Digital Identity Network analyses over 100 million transactions per day across 35,000 websites from 5,000 customers. It is one of the largest repositories of online digital identities in the world, encompassing 1.4 billion unique online identities from 4.5 billion devices in 185 countries.

ThreatMetrix will become part of Risk & Business Analytics under the LexisNexis Risk Solutions brand. LexisNexis Risk Solutions already has an established commercial partnership with ThreatMetrix, including ThreatMetrix’s device intelligence solutions in its Risk Defense Platform.

Risk & Business Analytics CEO, Mark Kelsey, said: “ThreatMetrix is widely recognised as a leader in the digital identity space. Bringing that together with our own strengths in physical identity attributes will give our clients across all forms of commerce and geographies a more reliable, comprehensive approach to fraud and identity risk management while maintaining the privacy and security principles our customers have come to expect. The acquisition is in line with our organic growth driven strategy, supported by acquisitions of targeted data sets and analytics that are natural additions to our existing business.”

In 2017, RELX Group completed eight acquisitions for a total consideration of £123m, and disposed of 17 assets for a total of £87m.

USA, New York & UK, London & The Netherlands, Amsterdam & USA, San Jose, CA

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Hawke Media acquires Execute.LA

Hawke MediaThe digital marketing agency Hawke Media has acquired Execute.LA, a growth marketing shop that specializes in funnel optimization and growth hacking for early stage consumer products and startups. The terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Execute.LA was co-founded by Hank Leber and Wesley Clock and has employees located in the US and in Europe. Notable Execute.LA clients coming to Hawke Media include Bruno Mars’s SelvaRey Rum, and DrumChannel, the learning platform created by DW Drums Founder, Don Lombardi.

Erik Huberman, Founder & CEO of Hawke Media, said,”Execute.LA has done some incredible work for a number of really impressive brands and we are excited to be bringing both the team and their clients into the Hawke Media family”.

USA, Santa Monica & Venice, CA

Nextmedia acquires The Women’s Game website

NextmediaThe Australian publishing company Nextmedia, part of the Forum Media Group, has acquired the female sports coverage website The Women’s Game. The terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Originally, the site was largely focused on football, but after its relaunch on 1 February 2018, will cover Australian women’s sport across multiple disciplines including football, netball, cricket, AFL and rugby. The target market for The Women’s Game is active players and young athletes who are looking to participate in the professional leagues of women’s sports. It was started by legal professional and football fan Ann Odong in 2008, when she found there was lack of coverage in mainstream media about the W-League and Matildas.

Kevin Airs, digital head of sports at Nextmedia, said, “There has been a huge rise in the professionalisation of women’s team sport, which has corresponded with an equal increase in the standard played, generating far more interest among fans and inspiring more people to get involved themselves. We want to be a part of that and be part of raising the profile of women’s sport, as well as the standard of reporting it.”

Australia, St Leonard’s, NSW & Brisbane, QL