Bouyant RTL fully acquires SpotX | Major Businesses | Business
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Just as it announces that its total video strategy is paying off with strong second quarter results, RTL Group has bought full control of video ad serving platform SpotX.
rtlspotx 30aug2017The purchase of the remaining 36.4% stake in the company is being seen as demonstrating RTL Group's continued commitment to its ad tech strategy and recognition of what it regards as SpotX's ‘impressive’ growth and execution of its strategic objectives. RTL Group noted that since it made its first investment in 2014, SpotX has nearly doubled net revenues, almost quadrupled EBITDA, opened seven offices in seven countries, and added over 150 new employees. The purchase is pursuant to the option the two firms negotiated about their initial investment, and is based on an enterprise value of SpotX of $404 million on a 100% basis plus net cash.

The acquisition is scheduled to close in October 2017 by which time SpotX’s management team — led by company co-founders Mike Shehan, CEO, and Steve Swoboda, COO/CFO — will remain on course. Their mission will be to execute their company’s original vision of providing a modern video ad serving platform to broadcasters, MVPDs and premium publishers around the world.

In a joint statement commenting on the deal, RTL Group co-CEOs Bert Habets and Guillaume de Posch said: “We are excited to take full ownership of SpotX, a leading global platform for ad serving and programmatic ad sales. Back in 2014, the majority stake in SpotX was our first big step into advertising technology; gaining full ownership now is another major step in transforming RTL Group into a ‘total video’ powerhouse. Together with the very experienced management teams of SpotX and of our European asset Smartclip, we are working on an ambitious growth plan for our ad tech businesses, including further acquisitions, partnerships and deeper synergies across RTL Group.” 

During its second quarter of the year ended 30 June 2017, reported RTL Group revenue was up 3.5% year-on-year to €2,978 million driven by higher revenue from RTL Group’s rapidly growing digital businesses, contributing an extra €125 million, and from the three main business units Mediengruppe RTL Deutschland (up €36 million), Groupe M6 (up €16 million) and FremantleMedia (up €30 million). Platform revenue grew by 18.7% compared with the same period in 2016 to €159 million. These increases compensated for the absence of FremantleMedia’s production American Idol in H1/2017 and the fact that all European TV advertising markets, in which RTL Group is active, decreased during the reporting period. Net profit though slipped 6% to €320 million.

Digital revenue was up 47.4% on a 12-month basis to €389 million. This was mainly driven by organic growth at BroadbandTV and StyleHaul, the sale of American Gods to streaming service Amazon Prime Video and the first-time full consolidation of Smartclip and Divimove.