RTL Group buys remaining 36.4% to jointly execute on long term vision.
The investment demonstrates RTL Group’s continued commitment to its ambitious ad tech strategy and recognition of SpotX’s impressive growth and execution of its strategic objectives. Since RTL Group 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 of the remaining shares by RTL Group is pursuant to the option they negotiated in connection with their initial investment, and is based on an enterprise value of SpotX of $404 million on a 100% basis plus net cash.
With the acquisition scheduled to close in October 2017, SpotX’s management team, led by company co-founders Mike Shehan, CEO (pictured above, left), and Steve Swoboda, COO/CFO, (pictured above, right) will stay on to continue to execute the company’s vision of providing a modern video ad serving platform to broadcasters, MVPDs and premium publishers around the world.
Bert Habets and Guillaume de Posch, Co-CEOs of RTL Group, issued a joint statement about the deal: “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. Our joint vision is to build the leading global video monetization offering for broadcasters and premium inventory owners to maximize the value of their audiences consuming total video content across multiple devices.”
Advertising-supported over-the-top (OTT) content, whether it be on-demand, live or linear continues to grow and complement broadcast TV, according to SpotX Co-Founder and CEO, Mike Shehan. “SpotX is emerging as the premier expert in digital monetization of OTT content delivery, and uniquely positioned to assist broadcasters and other modern TV players with maximizing their profitability in the new delivery ecosystem,” Shehan said. “RTL Group’s investment will help extend our footprint in TV as we bring together the TV and digital video worlds.”
The benefits of a fully integrated video advertising infrastructure for publishers are enormous, with synergies between arms in the programmatic ecosystem, execution of multiple buying styles from a single platform and technology efficiencies capable of driving incremental revenue growth for media companies. Along with the step-up investment to 100% RTL Group ownership, SpotX will begin to work more closely with sister RTL Group company, Smartclip. The two companies will focus on achieving their aggressive growth plans, and collaborate to provide the most advanced advertising solutions possible for every screen consumers watch video.
Current clients of SpotX’s platform include broadcasters and publishers, such as Thomson Reuters, Meredith Local Media Group, Vevo, Gutefrage, TVPlayer, STV, RTL Nederland and Conde Nast; app developers, like Gameloft and Cheetah Mobile; OTT providers, such as Sling TV, Vudu and Pluto TV; and CTV software providers, like Anypoint Media, MAZ Digital and Zype.