Digital Media M&A


Lifetime Buys S. Korean Dress-Up Site Roiworld; Expands Gaming With

Lifetime Games Studio Korea — Lifetime Networks is expanding its casual
gaming with the acquisition of South Korean dress-up site Roiworld for an
undisclosed amount and the simultaneous launch of Lifetime Games Studio
Korea. Lifetime, a 50-50 joint venture of Hearst and The Walt Disney (NYSE:
DIS) Company, plans to launch a U.S. version of Roiworld.com in early 2009.
The site mixes “casual” virtual worlds, user-generated content and social
networking with fashion. Lifetime says the Korean version had 2.8 million
uniques and 117 million page views in September, with visitors averaging 50
minutes a month. At the same time, Lifetime is investing further in casual
gaming by launching Lifetime Games Studio Korea with headquarters in Seoul
and a San Francisco office focused on biz dev, technology and sales.
Roiworld founder Kiseo Kim, will head the new studio as CEO, extending
Roiworld and developing new games. Kris Soumas, head of Lifetime Games,
adds the new venture to her portfolio. Plans call for integrated ad
packages and micro-transaction technology, in addition to more social
networking.

Gannett Acquires Healthcare Education Site Pearls Review; Digital Now
Separate Segment
— Gannett, which reported its Q308 earnings late last
month, has filed its 10-Q and discloses a new online acquisition: it has
acquired Pearls Review, an online nursing certification and continuing
education review site. No financial details were disclosed, but the site is
now part of the Gannett Healthcare Group (I had no idea such a group
existed within Gannett…the group runs Nurse.com). Pearl has a series of
online courses in various sub-sectors of nursing profession, and is based
in St. Petersburg, FL.

Google SEC Filing Reveals DoubleClick’s Price Tag — Google sold

DoubleClick’s Performics SEM division to Publicis for $53 million in cash
in August 2008, according to a U.S. Security and Exchange Commission (SEC)
filing that posted Friday. The 10-Q states the search engine acquired
DoubleClick “primarily for their customer relationships, as well as patents
and developed technology.” Since the sale of Performics was planned at the
time of the acquisition, the proceeds are netted against the purchase
price. The total net purchase price of DoubleClick was $3.2 billion paid in
cash, including transaction costs of $70.4 million. Google estimates the
life expectancy of customer relationships at 6.7 years; patents and
development technology, 5 years; and trade names, 5.5 years, according to
the filing.

Innovation Interactive Buys European Ad Targeter Netmining NV — Innovation
Interactive, the parent company of digital marketers 360i and SearchIgnite,
has bought Belgian behavioral targeter Netmining NV. Terms were not
disclosed. Netmining will continue to operate as a standalone brand.
However, officially, the company’s services will be merged into
Searchignite’s system within the first half of next year. Aside from
increasing New York-based Innovation Interactive’s European presence, the
company hopes that the promise of greater ROI that comes with Netmining’s
services will make it more attractive to web marketers unnerved by the
economic downturn. Innovation Interactive has been privately funded by ABS
Capital and CIBC Capital Partners. Its most recent funding was in February,
an Innovation Interactive rep said.

Canal Partners Acquires Limos.com — Canal Partners has acquired a majority
stake in Limos.com, a Beaverton, Ore.-based online provider of qualified
leads for ground transportation providers. No financial terms were
disclosed, although Canal’s website says its typical investments are
between $1 million and $5 million for companies worth between $5 million
and $30 million. Source: PEHub.

Gannett Buys Social Media Tech Company Ripple6 — Gannett has acquired
social net tools provider Ripple6 to create online communities for its own
properties and outside media companies. Terms were not disclosed. Gannett
chief digital officer Chris Saridakis had a 10 percent stake in Ripple6 and
as part of the deal, Gannett agreed to buy Saridakis’ stake in the company.
Gannett added that Saridakis was not a part of the negotiations. This is
similar to what Gannett did last March, when it completed its purchase of
PointRoll by buying Saridakis’ shares in the company. A Ripple6 rep also
told me that Saridakis was a member of the company’s board, but he resigned
after Gannett acquired his shares.

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