Huntsworth acquires media strategy company AboveNation

HuntsworthHuntsworth plc, the international healthcare and communications group, has acquired 75% of AboveNation Media from Steve Minichini and John Lee for an initial consideration of $1.75m.

AboveNation Media is a New York-based full-service media strategy, planning and buying agency. AboveNation Media will provide integrated advertising technology solutions across Huntsworth’s Evoke Group business. AboveNation Media will continue to be led by its CEO, Steve Minichini and its President, John Lee and will report to Reid Connolly, CEO of Evoke Group.

The agreement to acquire 75% of AboveNation Media provides for an initial consideration of $1.75m and two deferred payments due in 2019 and 2021, based on a multiple of the EBITDA for the preceding years.

In addition, the agreement provides for a put and call option over the remaining 25% of AboveNation Media exercisable by the sellers or the Group from 1 January 2023. The consideration payable will be based on average EBITDA for the two calendar years immediately preceding.

The initial consideration will be financed through the Group’s existing facilities. Both the deferred consideration and the put and call option consideration payable, may be satisfied either in cash and/or ordinary shares of the Company.

The maximum amount of total consideration payable is capped at $25m.

AboveNation Media generated revenues of c. $1.3m and EBITDA of c. $0.5m in the year to 31 December 2017 and the Group expects the acquisition to be accretive to the Group’s earnings in the current financial year. AboveNation Media’s gross assets were $4.2m as at 31 December 2017.

Mr Connolly said, “The convergence of media and technology has changed the way brands and companies connect with their customers. AboveNation Media is a perfect strategic fit within our group and strengthens our commitment to a culture of innovation and accountability. By integrating the emotional insights that fuel great creative with advanced media strategy and technology, we not only create a more nimble and agile offering but we’re able to create smarter, harder working creative. Collectively we offer our clients the ability to engage and build more valuable relationships and to do so in the most advanced, efficient and, most importantly, transparent way possible.”

UK, London & New York, NY

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Catena Media acquires and related assets from Squawka Ltd for £1M

Catena MediaThe online performance marketing company Catena Media has acquired and related assets from Squawka Ltd. Squawka is a high-volume traffic global football news site with a Daily Fantasy Sports section in beta version. The main site currently attracts around 4 million users per month, and has around 800,000 followers on Twitter.

The purchase price amounts to a one-time upfront cash payment of GBP 1 million (approximately EUR 1.1 million). The acquisition is expected to generate annual sales of approximately EUR 2 million with an estimated 60% margin.

Henrik Persson Ekdahl, Acting CEO of Catena Media, said, “We see potential for Squawka as a high-volume traffic site with a global audience, to which we look forward to implementing an affiliation business model. The company has invested in automatic data feeds for their user-friendly graphical interfaces, which is something we aim to integrate into other Catena Media products.”

Malta, Ta’ Xbiex & UK, London

Zeta Global acquires Disqus

Zeta GlobalThe data-driven marketing technology innovator Zeta Global has acquired the audience engagement platform Disqus. The terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Disqus powers an open and independent web of 4 million publishers including The Atlantic, Destructoid, Spoiler TV and TMZ. Since 2007, Disqus has focused on helping independent publishers build audiences through its audience development platform by giving publishers tools to interact with readers.

Combined with Zeta’s leading marketing platform, artificial intelligence and machine learning, the acquisition makes Zeta the only company able to offer personalised real-time marketing at scale on the open web.

David A. Steinberg, Zeta Global CEO, Chairman and Co-Founder, said, “We’re redefining the marketing technology space with actionable data, artificial intelligence that answers business problems and a marketing hub that serves as the nerve centre for data-driven marketers. Disqus extends and enhances this strategy. Marketers typically have to make tradeoffs between reaching engaged audiences on social platforms with massive reach and using tools that give them control and access to granular targeting capabilities. Disqus strengthens Zeta’s ability to offer the best of both worlds with the scale, visibility and performance marketers have been asking for.”

USA, New York, NY & San Francisco, CA

UBM reports a 10 percent rise in full-year profit

UBM Plc has announced results for the year ending 31st December 2013

For full details and financial notes, click here.

  • Revenues from continuing operations up 3.2% to £793.9m; organic revenue growth of 3.7%
  • Adjusted operating profit from continuing operations up 6.3% to £186.3m; margin of 23.5%
  • Continuing fully diluted adjusted EPS up 12.8% to 53.6p
  • Total China revenues up 21% to £174.8m from £144.5m with strong annual and biennial event performance
  • Events organic revenue growth of 6.3%; operating profit, up to £148.9m, margin of 32.2%
  • PR Newswire 1.9% underlying growth and 22.6% margin
  • £22.7m exceptional charges reflect Marketing Services restructuring and the implementation of new UBM-wide finance and reporting system
  • Final dividend of 20.5p proposed; total 2013 dividend of 27.2p (2012:26.7p), up 1.9%
  • Leverage improved to 2.2x Net Debt/ EBITDA (2012: 2.5x)

UBM Results Dec 13 v2Click on the table for an enlarged view

David Levin, UBM’s Chief Executive Officer, commented:

“2013 was a year of strategic progress and operational achievement for UBM against a difficult economic backdrop; the company can look forward to 2014 with confidence.

2013’s good revenue and profit growth was bolstered by a strong performance from our biennial events in the second half of the year. PR Newswire had a solid year in its core business and maintained its strong profitability. We disposed of our Data Services business and substantially restructured our Marketing Services activities to focus on the professional communities our events serve. We end the year with significantly higher quality earnings and with the business better positioned for structural growth.

Our strategy to develop UBM as an events-led marketing services and communications business is proving successful. The growing strength of our Events business — focused particularly on large events, and our strong presence in China and other growth markets — continues to affirm our strategic choices and to demonstrate live media is an increasingly significant component of business to business marketing programmes. PR Newswire has retained its leading, premium position in the online news and content distribution market, and is well placed to prosper in the emerging world of digital content marketing.”

UK, London

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