AOL has agreed to buy Baltimore-based mobile ad marketplace Millennial Media Inc for $1.75 per share. The deal is expected to be completed in the fall. Goldman Sachs provided financial advice to AOL on the transaction while LUMA Partners did likewise for Millennial Media. In 2012, Millennial Media, which is backed by Columbia Capital, went public.
NEW YORK–(BUSINESS WIRE)–AOL today 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.
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.
* eMarketer (October 2014) – US Mobile Programmatic Display Ad Spending
** Cowen and Company, “Annual Ad Buyer Survey III: 2015 Outlook,” January 12, 2015
AOL is a media technology company with a mission to simplify the internet for consumers and creators by unleashing the world’s best builders of culture and code. As one of the largest online properties with over 350 million monthly global consumers of its premium brands, AOL is at the center of disruption of how content is being produced, distributed, consumed and monetized by connecting publishers with advertisers on its global, programmatic content and advertising platforms. AOL’s opportunity lies in shaping the future of the digitally connected world for decades to come. AOL is a subsidiary of Verizon.
About Millennial Media
Millennial Media (NYSE:MM) is the leading independent mobile ad marketplace, making mobile simple for the world’s top brands, app developers and mobile web publishers. The company’s unique data and technology assets enable its advertising clients to connect with their target audiences at scale. Millennial Media also drives monetization for its publisher and developer partners by connecting them to networks, advertisers and an RTB exchange. For more information, visit www.millennialmedia.com.