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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Private equity group Epiris buys NME publisher Time UK

EpirisPrivate equity group Epiris‘s Fund II has acquired Time UK from US media group Meredith Corporation, a month after Meredith purchased the magazine publisher. The terms of transaction were not disclosed.

Time UK’s portfolio encompasses more than 50 well-known brands, including NME, Country Life, What’s on TV, Woman’s Weekly and Wallpaper, and operates across multiple platforms – print, online, mobile, TV and experiences.

The company is led by CEO and PPA Chairman Marcus Rich, who joined TIUK in 2014 from DMG Media. Sir Bernard Gray, who is Chairman of New Scientist and formerly Non-executive Director of Immediate Media and Chief of Defence Material at the Ministry of Defence, will become Executive Chairman.

Alex Fortescue, Managing Partner of Epiris, said, “This deal is a complex corporate carve-out of the type in which we specialise. The business itself offers plentiful scope for transformation through operational improvement and M&A. We are thrilled to have got Fund II off to such a strong start.”

Chris Hanna, partner at Epiris, said, “At its heart this is a diverse, robust and cash-generative business. We intend to bring clarity and simplicity to it, to focus on maximising the potential of its high-quality portfolio.”

UK, London & USA, Des Moines, Iowa

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Mediawan acquires 3 major French production companies

MediawanMediawan, an independent European audiovisual content platform, is planning to acquire majority stakes in three production companies: Makever, Mon Voisin Productions and Storia Television (the company created to take over EuropaCorp’s TV business, excluding US series).

Under the terms, Mediawan (i) has acquired, through the Storia Television subsidiary, part of EuropaCorp Television’s business, and (ii) would purchase majority stakes in Makever and Mon Voisin Productions subject to the finalization of the transactional documents and to the usual conditions precedent for these types of transactions. All of these transactions could be finalized during the first quarter of 2018.

These companies gather together numerous major projects in France and internationally. They would allow Mediawan to continue supplement its premium content offering and expand its production volumes, as they represented revenues of over €50 million in 2017. Mediawan is thus strengthening its position in European independent production, notably by becoming the leading French producer of TV fiction.

Pierre-Antoine Capton, Mediawan’s Chairman of the Board, says: “These strategic investments in EuropaCorp TV, Makever and Mon Voisin Productions would be another milestone in the implementation of Mediawan’s strategy. With an extensive offering of premium content combining fiction, animated content and documentaries, Mediawan is in the best position possible to meet the substantial market demand.”

France, Paris

AOL completes acquisition of Adap.tv

aolAOL Inc. has completed its acquisition of Adap.tv, a global, programmatic video advertising platform for the world’s largest brands, agencies, and publishers. The terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Adap.tv is a global programmatic video technology stack across all screens and will operate independently as part of AOL’s video organisation. It will be included as part of the overall solution offered by AOL Networks to publishers, advertisers and agencies.

adapt“With the addition of Adap.tv, AOL’s leadership position in digital video is further solidified,” said Tim Armstrong, Chairman and CEO of AOL. “AOL is well positioned to capitalize on two clear trends in the video space – the movement of advertising dollars from linear to online video and the shift from manual transactions to programmatic media buying. We welcome Adap.tv and its extremely talented employees to the AOL team.”

USA, New York, NY

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ITV acquires US TV production company Thinkfactory Media

itvITV plc is acquiring a controlling stake in Thinkfactory Media, a US producer of reality, entertainment and drama, including the Emmy award-winning Hatfields & McCoys. Based in Los Angeles, the company was founded by Emmy-nominated Producer, Leslie Greif. Think Factory Media produces programming in most genres for television including:  features, unscripted series, documentaries, mini-series, branded entertainment projects, concerts, music specials and various movies of the week.

thinkfactorymedia

ITV will pay an upfront cash consideration of $30m for a 65% stake in Thinkfactory Media, with a put and call option to buy theremaining 35% of the company. The put and call option could be exercised from between 3 years after the initial deal and at the end of year 5 with the total amount paid linked to the performance of the company over that period.  ITV says that the multiple paid is similar to the range paid on their previous acquisitions.

UK, London & USA, Losa Angeles, CA

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Gannett to acquire television company Belo

gannettInternational media business Gannett is to acquire television company Belo in a deal that nearly doubles Gannett’s broadcast portfolio.

Gannett will acquire all outstanding shares of Belo for $13.75 per share in cash, or approximately $1.5 billion, plus the assumption of belo$715 million in existing debt for an enterprise value of approximately $2.2 billion. The transaction, which has been unanimously approved by the boards of directors of both companies, represents a 28.1 percent premium to the closing price of Belo common stock on June 12, 2013.

Belo Corp. owns and operates 20 television stations and their associated websites.  Belo stations, which include affiliations with ABC, CBS, NBC, FOX, and the CW, reach more than 14 percent of U.S. television households.

The Company anticipates that the transaction will generate approximately $175 million in annual run-rate synergies within three years after closing.  The transaction valuation implies a 9.4x average 2011/2012 EBITDA multiple prior to synergies, and a 5.4x multiple assuming expected synergies.

Gracia Martore, President and Chief Executive Officer of Gannett, said, “We are thrilled to bring together two highly respected media companies with rich histories of award-winning journalism, operational excellence and strong brand leadership.  We have been successfully transforming Gannett into a diversified multi-media company with broadcast, digital and publishing components across high-growth markets nationwide, and this is another important step in the process.  It will significantly improve our cash flow and financial strength, enabling us to quickly pay down debt while remaining committed to disciplined capital allocation.  By enhancing our portfolio with one of the largest, most geographically diverse and network-balanced TV station groups in the country, the new Gannett will be well positioned to lead innovation, bolster our existing growth initiatives and take advantage of new opportunities in the emerging digital media landscape.”

USA, McLean, VA & Dallas, TX

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Argonon buys factual indie Transparent TV

argononArgonon group has acquired UK indie Transparent Television which specialises in popular factual documentaries. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Transparent has made factual documentaries (My Daughter Amy, Channel 4;Extraordinary People: The Baby with a New Face, Channel 5), formats (Restoration Roadshow, BBC Two) and features (Leslie Ash: Face to Face, ITV1). In 2013, two of its series ran on Channel 5, Great Northern Cookbook and Botched Up Bodies.

The deal sees Argonon wholly acquire Transparent Television for an undisclosed sum and founders Jazz Gowans and Richard Hughes transparent TV(pictured) become shareholders in the group.

“Their track record of delivering high quality, innovative and talked about TV shows based on popular themes makes them the perfect fit for Argonon,” says Argonon CEO James Burstall, who describes Transparent’s production team as “very clever….they can go to dark places, but still retain their integrity.”

UK, London