Digital Media M&A


Chinese Portal Company SINA Buys Part of Focus Media For About $1B in Stock — A rare large media deal, this time in the Chinese market: SINA, one of the big online portal companies in China, has acquired the out-of-home ad assets to local company Focus Media (NSDQ: FMCN), in stock. It will acquire Focus’ LCD display network, poster frame network and in-store network; in return, SINA will issue 47 million newly issued ordinary shares to Focus, who will then distribute these shares to its shareholders shortly after the closing. Focus will retain its online ad division, the movie theater ad network portion of its commercial location network and certain traditional billboards.

Austin Ventures and Casella Buy Fin Info Provider Asset International — Austin Ventures, the PE firm, has acquired B2B online/print financial information provider Asset International, a Stamford, CT, which focuses on pension funds, asset managers, and other financial institutions. AV has also invested an undisclosed amount of capital into the company. Jim Casella, the former CEO of Reed Business U.S., who was working with Austin as an entrepreneur in residence of sorts, has taken over at the CEO of the decade old company. Asset International has brands such as Plamsponsor magazine aimed at inv*stm*nt professionals, Daily NewsDash and AdvisorDash newsletters, among others. Casella has been working with Austin Ventures for more than a year now, and had been working with one of the parties involved in the failed RBI auction which was finally called off last month. Also, he was supposedly part of the consortium that almost bought Entrepreneur magazine earlier this year.

PixelFish Buys Assets Of Shuttered Video Apps Firm Eyespot — PixelFish, an LA-based online video advertising solutions firm, has bought the assets of shuttered online video tools and services provider Eyespot, for an undisclosed sum. Eyespot closed down earlier this Fall, after failing to gain traction in the industry, despite having raised $3.7 million from Gabriel Venture Partners, Express Ventures and executives from MP3.com and DivX. Now with the assets acquisition, PixelFish will integrate EyeSpot’s online video production tools and video transcoding tech into its video ad creation and optimization tech.

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