Archive for Greenfield Online

Digital Media M&A

Posted in Deals, Digital Media, News with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 12, 2008 by Dave Liu

ZM Capital To Buy Greenfield Unit from Microsoft — Microsoft Corp. announced that it will sell Greenfield Online’s Internet survey business to an affiliate of ZM Capital for an undisclosed amount. The sale would come after Microsoft completes its acquisition of Greenfield Online in Q4, with ZM lining up leveraged financing from NewStar Financial, CIT and VSS Structured Capital.

LiveUniverse Buys Online Movie Ad Network Peerflix — LiveUniverse, the online media holding company, is continuing its streak of picking up assets on the cheap, and has now bought Peerflix, an online DVD trading service which morphed into an online advertising network focused on movie watchers. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. Peerflix received two rounds of funding from Battery Ventures, BV Capital and 3i, with the second round totaling $8 million. LiveUniverse has earlier bought other sites on the cheap including Revver, Pageflakes, Meevee and others.

Reliance Buys Majority Stake in Cricket Video Webcasting Site Willow.tv — Reliance ADA Group, the Indian telecom and media conglomerate, has bought a 70 percent stake in Willow.tv, the Cricket webcasting site based in Sunnyvale, CA. The price was undisclosed, but according to Rajesh Sawhney, president of Reliance Entertainment, the company will spend about $60 million to $70 million in this acquisition and expansion together, quoted in WSJ. Willow TV has been around for about five years, and named after the tree from which Cricket bats are made. It was among the first to start live webcasting cricket matches for expatriate audience worldwide, though a big part of its audience is South Asians in U.S. (including me). It charges anywhere from between $10 for a short series to $150 a full cricket tournament, depending on the countries and number of games involved. In 2007-08, the site has streamed most of the major tournaments live, including the Indian Premier League, Australian, South African and English cricket.

Online Content Marketplace InDPlay Acquired By Ascent Media — Global Media Exchange (GMX), a division of media production and services firm Ascent Media (which in turn is owned by John Malone’s Discovery Holding) has acquired Silicon Valley-based inDplay, an online content licensing marketplace specializing in indie films. The terms of the deal were not disclosed. The company was notable for receiving investment from some heavyweights including Google CEO Eric Schmidt, William Hearst III, Donald Dixon and Rob DeSantis, back in 2006. GMX is a new division of Ascent, and will be used as a marketplace for content owners and buyers to connect, buy and sell professionally produced content online. The site will launch in phases in 2009, and be aimed primarily at film studios, independent film companies and producers, video production houses.

Aegis’ Isobar Acquires Search Marketer Range Online Media — UK media agency firm Aegis Group has acquired search engine marketer Range Online Media. The purchase was made by Aegis’ search marketing arm, Isobar. Terms were not disclosed, although Aegis noted that the Fort Worth, TX.-based Range Online has gross assets of $12 million. Founded in 2001, Range Online initially focused on services aimed at retail and travel businesses. More recently it has expanded into the technology, luxury brands, financial services, utilities, and entertainment industries. Following the acquisition, Range Online Media will re-brand as iProspect and form the fourth US office in the iProspect global search network. This is the sixth acquisition Isobar has made in search marketing this year. Range Online ups iProspect’s reach to 21 offices in 17 markets worldwide.

Articles of the Day

Posted in Digital Media, News with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on August 27, 2008 by Dave Liu

Microsoft’s InPrivate Could Make Ad Prospects More Private — Tech publishers and bloggers are buzzing about the impending release of a new version of Microsoft’s popular Internet Explorer browser – still the dominant tool used to access the Web – that has new privacy features that could more readily delete the browsing history and cookies of individual Internet users, making it more difficult for advertisers and publishers to track and serve ads to them. Consumer privacy experts are hailing the forthcoming release of Microsoft’s Internet Explorer 8 (IE8), and its so-called “InPrivate” blocking feature, but industry analysts say it could be an anathema for targeting and serving online ads.

Rumored Google, Verizon Search/Mobile Deal Signals Major Shift In Attitudes — News of Google’s potential mobile search deal with Verizon Wireless comes as no surprise to analysts who monitor the mobile search and advertising space. In fact, according to Mike Boland, senior analyst at The Kelsey Group, the deal is indicative of a huge shift in the way that mobile service carriers are starting to view technology companies, paved in part by AT&T’s groundbreaking deal with Apple for the iPhone. The deal would essentially make Google search the “on deck” option on Verizon mobile devices, and they would split any ensuing ad revenue.

NYTCo: June Numbers Signal Another Tough Quarter; Revs Fall Sharply; Internet Growth Slow — Q3 is getting off to a rough start at NYTCo… the publisher came out with July numbers showing total revenue fell 10.1 percent to $235.9 million. Ad revenue, which fell 16.2 percent, was weak across all categories. The internet, normally a “bright spot” is rapidly losing its luster: Internet ad revs at the News Media Group were up just .9 percent, hurt by weakness in online recruitment. NYTCo says growth in the current month is up in the “low double digits” helped by improved display advertising on NYTimes.com.

GfK Ends Bid For TNS—All Clear For WPP Takeover? — German audience measurement firm GfK appears to be withdrawing its bid for British research company Taylor Nelson Sofres, according to Reuters, which cited a story in Germany’s Manager magazine based on unidentified sources. GfK is said to be dropping its bid because Apax, the PE firm that agreed to help back it in the deal, began making demands for extensive control over the merger. The German company started to get cold feet last month, when UK ad holding company WPP Group began maneuvering for a hostile takeover of TNS. WPP had sent TNS a formal offer for a 264.2p-per-share offer that values TNS at £1.158 billion ($2.1 billion) – a 55 percent premium from April 28, when TNS said it would merge with GfK.

Greenfield Online Spurns Quadrangle For Higher Offer; Will Pay $5 Million Breakup Fee — Greenfield Online, a provider of online market research, says it’s nixing its sale to media PE firm Quadrangle. The company had already indicated that it received a potentially higher offer than the $426 million or $15.50 per share it was set to get from Quadrangle. The new buyer, an un-named Fortune 100 firm, will pay $17.50 for the company. Per the original agreement announced in early June, Quadrangle will get a $5 million fee for its troubles. Quadrangle could still increase its offer if it acts before August, 29. Full story —

Carat Lowers Overall Ad Outlook, Boosts Online’s — Carat has revised its global and U.S. ad spending outlooks for 2008 downward, but has slightly increased its projections for online ad spending in 2008 and 2009. In a new forecast released early this morning, Carat said it now expects the global advertising marketplace to expand only 4.9%, and U.S. ad spending to rise by 2.1% in 2008. In its preliminary forecast released in March, Carat had projected worldwide ad spending would grow 6.0% and the U.S. would rise 3.8% this year.