The FINANCIAL — AOL on September 3 announced its continued investment in cross platform programmatic technology for marketers and publishers by signing an agreement to acquire Millennial Media, Inc. (NYSE: MM), a leading end-to-end mobile platform, for $1.75 per share of Millennial Media common stock.
Following AOL’s recent acquisition by Verizon, which operates the nation’s largest and most reliable wireless network, and its global enterprise-level partnership with Microsoft, today’s announcement further strengthens AOL’s mobile capabilities and underlines its position as the first global mobile media technology company. AOL now operates scaled global content brands, a scaled global content delivery network, a scaled global programmatic advertising platform and a subscription services platform, according to AOL.
With the acquisition of Millennial Media, AOL will:
Add a leading supply-side platform for app monetization with over 65,000 apps to its publisher suite of offerings
Add significant mobile brand advertising scale across ONE by AOL
Have access to approximately 1 billion global active unique users and robust addressable and cross-screen targeting capabilities
Accelerate its mobile position in key international markets, including Singapore, Japan, UK, France and Germany
Add world-class engineering, sales and product talent that specialize in mobile to AOL
“AOL is well positioned as consumers spend more and more time on mobile devices, and as advertisers, agencies and publishers become more reliant on programmatic monetization tools,” said Bob Lord, President, AOL. “As we continue to invest in our platforms and technology, the acquisition of Millennial Media accelerates our competitive mobile offering in ONE by AOL and enhances our current publisher offering with an ‘all in’ monetization platform for app developers.”
“By joining AOL, we will be adding additional mobile expertise to AOL’s growing technology assets,” said Michael Barrett, President & CEO of Millennial Media. “I am excited by what this acquisition means for our shareholders, our employees and our partners.”
According to eMarketer, 69% of mobile ad spend will be bought and sold programmatically (more than $14 billion), and programmatic video will reach $4 billion by 2016. Furthermore, Cowen & Company expects mobile display and video advertising to grow from approximately $3.8 billion in 2015 to $9.2 billion in 2018 at a compound annual growth rate of 35%.
Founded in 2006, Millennial Media is headquartered in Baltimore, MD and has additional U.S. offices in Atlanta, Boston, New York and San Francisco, and international offices in Hamburg, London, Paris, Singapore and Tokyo. Millennial Media’s portfolio of assets includes acquisitions of TapMetrics, Condaptive, Metaresolver, Jumptap and Nexage.
The transaction will take the form of a tender offer followed by a merger, with Millennial Media becoming a wholly owned subsidiary of AOL upon completion. The transaction is subject to customary regulatory approvals and other closing conditions, and is expected to close this fall.
Goldman, Sachs & Co. served as AOL’s financial advisor on the transaction, and Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz served as AOL’s legal advisor.
LUMA Partners served as Millennial Media’s financial advisor on the transaction, and Goodwin Procter LLP served as Millennial Media’s legal advisor.