Vista’s Mediaocean buys Flashtalking from TA Associates for $500m-plus 

For Mediaocean, Flashtalking fits into the company’s recent push to acquire software tools to sell directly to brands, rather than through intermediaries.   

Vista Equity-backed Mediaocean agreed to acquire adtech provider Flashtalking, from TA Associates, for more than $500 million, sources familiar with the deal told PE Hub.  

The transaction signed nearly a week ago is expected to be announced Tuesday morning, the people familiar said. 

JPMorgan acted as a sell-side advisor to Flashtalking, the people familiar with the situation said. 

Flashtalking, based in London, is an international provider of a software platform for the creation and delivery of online advertising campaigns, including post-delivery analytics and reporting. The company, whose clients include blue-chip online advertisers and leading media buying and creative agencies, allows customers to build, execute and track campaigns via a self-service platform. 

Flashtalking is headquartered in London, with additional European offices in Leeds and Cologne, and U.S. facilities in New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, and San Francisco.  

TA Associates had an opportunity to sell Flashtalking to another private equity firm that would have acquired it as a platform investment for a similar valuation. As an add-on investment to Vista-backed Mediaocean, it’s unclear whether Flashtalking’s management team will be offered positions at the combined company. Vista Equity declined to comment on that matter. 

TA Associates, which invested in the company in August 2013, will exit its investment in Flashtalking after an eight-year hold.  

Both Flashtalking and Mediaocean, a major software player in the advertising space, help advertisers measure their digital media buying. 

For Mediaocean, Flashtalking also fits into the company’s recent push to acquire software tools to sell directly to brands, rather than through intermediaries.   

As part of that effort, last year Mediaocean also completed an acquisition of 4C Insights, a global data science and marketing technology company. 

Most recently, Mediaocean announced it is consolidating its product suite of disparate platforms into one core offering that covers media planning, workflow and accounting. The unified platform is expected be fully rolled out in the U.S. by the end of 2021 and in the EMEA in 2022.  

Mediaocean’s suite of 10 products manages more than $150 billion in global media spend. The company’s clients include WPP, Microsoft and General Motors. 

In 2020, Vista Equity ran a sale process for Mediaocean and hired Morgan Stanley to provide sell-side financial advice, sources told PE Hub at that time. The process fell apart because the firm could not find a buyer for the desired valuation, the sources familiar said.

The acquisition was made to help position Mediaocean for a sale as soon as it concludes consolidation of its product suite and integration of newly acquired companies, some of the sources said.

Vista Equity and TA Associates declined to comment. JPMorgan did not return PE Hub’s request for comment before the press time.