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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Keywords Studios acquires GetSocial

keywordsKeywords Studios, a technical services provider to the video games industry, has acquired the assets and business of GetSocial B.V. a company based in The Hague, Netherlands. The terms of the deal were not disclosed.

GetSocial is a cloud-based software platform that provides a comprehensive and robust suite of functions that enable games developers to manage all social interactions between their game, their players and their friends’ networks. Providing a toolkit for customer acquisition, customer retention and customer engagement, GetSocial clients include mobile game companies such as Ubisoft Mobile Games, Sega, Truly Social Games and Kolibri Games.

GetSocial works with Android, iOS and Unity apps, and supports interactions on most social media and messaging platforms including Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp, Telegram, Line, Kakao, Viber, Hangouts, and Kik. The GetSocial platform powers referrals and in-app communities for 100+ million users and has a proven track record of helping to retain existing players and acquire new players, thereby increasing the lifetime value of players for its clients.

GetSocial’s team of 12 engineers led by CEO, Jeroen Bouman, and COO and Founder, Viral Patel, are all joining Keywords. GetSocial is currently in a development phase, having invested ahead of building revenues, but it is expected to become profitable during 2020.

GetSocial further expands our range of cloud-based solutions which includes AS Analyser (automated GDPR compliance testing for Android and iOS apps), Yokozuna Data (cloud based predictive analytics and machine learning platform for predicting individual player behaviours and automated actions), XLOC (content management system for video game localisation), and Conform (3D geospatial visualisation software for procedural generation of cityscapes and terrains for games, simulation and urban planning).

Andrew Day, CEO of Keywords Studios commented:

“I am delighted to welcome the talented GetSocial team to the Keywords family. It extends our technology base further, bringing to Keywords a leading edge capability built around the social interactions of players in games, which we hope to promote more widely and develop further. As part of the Group, GetSocial will work alongside both our engineering and marketing services teams. It will be fully supported by our worldwide sales team in introducing these capabilities to Keywords’ game developer and publisher clients globally, for whom technology that supports social sharing is an important part of attracting and retaining gamers.”

Ireland, Dublin & Netherlands, The Hague

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M&C Saatchi sells its stake in Walker Media to Publicis Groupe

M&C SaatchiM&C Saatchi has sold its remaining 24.9% stake in media agency Walker Media to Publicis Groupe for £25 million in cash.

In the financial year ended 31 December 2017 Walker Media contributed associate income of £1.6m with the investment in associates valued at £10.7m on the balance sheet.

David Kershaw, CEO, M&C Saatchi, said, “M&C Saatchi has started many businesses. Walker Media was one of the first and has been one of the greatest. Christine, Phil and Simon have done a magnificent job, latterly with Publicis Media and we owe them all a huge debt of gratitude. M&C Saatchi has evolved considerably over the past 20 years and we believe now is the right time to realise the value of our minority stake, to support our entrepreneurial strategy of starting new businesses and building the stars of tomorrow.”

UK, London

reach4entertainment to acquire 50% stake in Buzz 16 Productions

r4ereach4entertainment enterprises plc, an entertainment marketing communications group, is to acquire 50% of the issued share capital of Buzz 16 Productions Limited. The terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Buzz 16, which was founded in 2016, creates both short and long form sports orientated content and is co-owned by shareholders including former Manchester United player and broadcaster, Gary Neville, along with former Sky Sports Premier League producer, Scott Melvin.

Gary Neville

Gary Neville sells 50% of Buzz 16

Buzz 16 has been responsible for a number of sports-related productions in recent years, including “Class of 92: Full Time”, which became Sky Sports most downloaded series in 2018, and “SoccerBox”.

Gary, Scott and the Buzz 16 team will continue to develop cross-platform original content but will further expand Buzz 16’s offering by partnering with r4e and its management team to diversify into new marketing-focused verticals. CEO of r4e Marc Boyan will join Gary & Scott as Directors of the Buzz 16 and will take an active role in building out combined capabilities.

Commenting on the acquisition, Marc Boyan, CEO of R4E, said, “We are delighted to be working with Gary, Scott and the team as Buzz 16 embarks on its next phase of growth. Our investment in Buzz 16 was the culmination of a competitive process and is testament to the fact that our vision for the Group has broad appeal. This exciting partnership brings with it a number of important synergies. While it will provide r4e with exposure to the sports media sector, we see a great opportunity to help Buzz 16 develop a marketing services offering and provide leading brands with powerful strategies to meaningfully engage with their audiences across sponsorship, talent partnerships, experiential and sports marketing. We believe Buzz 16 will be a valuable addition to the r4e family.”

Gary Neville, who is co-owner of Buzz 16, added, “We are proud to produce engaging content of the highest quality, so welcoming r4e’s marketing communications expertise and network is the next natural stage to strengthen our proposition and ultimately broaden our offering to a wider audience. We started Buzz 16 to give people the chance to engage with sports and live entertainment in a different way so this partnership means we can do more of that. Having spent a lot of time with Marc, I am excited by his plans for the Group as well as his forward thinking approach to providing a differentiated and value enhancing service to clients.”

UK, London

Next 15 acquires Planning-inc for up to £15M

Next15Next Fifteen Communications Group plc, a digital communications group, has acquired Planning-Inc Limited, a predictive analytics and data marketing business.

Planning-inc is a UK-based marketing, data and technology agency. Following the Acquisition Planning-inc will continue to operate as an independent brand as part of the Next 15 Network.

The initial consideration for the acquisition is approximately £6.3 million, made up of £5.4 million in cash and the issue of 187,943 new ordinary shares in Next 15. Further deferred payments may be payable around April 2019 with a top-up payment based on the EBITDA performance of Planning-inc for the year ended 31 December 2018, and around April 2021 and April 2023 based on the EBIT performance of Planning-inc in the 2-year periods ending 31 January 2021 and 31 January 2023 respectively. The maximum total consideration is expected to be £15 million.

For the year ended 31 December 2017, Planning-inc reported EBIT and profit before tax of £1.3 million, and gross assets of £2.7 million.

The senior management team will continue to lead the business which includes clients such as Argos, M&S, Halfords and Sony.

Tim Dyson, CEO of Next 15 commented: “Next 15 believes marketing is a technology and data-driven activity. As a result we are committed to investing in these areas alongside the creative aspects of marketing. Planning-inc’s focus on using data science and analytics to inform and design great marketing programmes fits beautifully with our strategy. We are excited to have them as a part of the group and believe they will work with a number of the agencies in the group”.

UK, London

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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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