The ill-fated (and relatively brief) love affair between telcos and ad tech really is over.
On Monday, Singaporean telco Singtel finally sold mobile-focused marketing platform Amobee to Tremor International for $239 million. The transaction is expected to close in the third quarter. (Read the release.)
Tremor went public in June 2021. Its stock, which is down more than 34% year to date, increased a smidge (just under 1%) on the Amobee acquisition news.
Singtel first bought Amobee in 2012 for $321 million, which makes the current deal price a bit of an ouchie.
But Singtel has been looking to offload Amobee for a while.
In May 2021, Singtel told investors it was placing Amobee under “strategic review” and took a $310 million write-down on the assets in March, at which point Amobee was “classified as a subsidiary for sale.”
Singtel recently logged an operating loss of $70 million for Amobee based on its FY 2022 results.
But that didn’t scare off Tremor, which had reportedly been kicking the tires on Amobee for at least the past few months. As of May, according to Sky News, Tremor was in talks to acquire Amobee for somewhere around $200 million, so not that far off from the final deal price.
Amobee has a demand-side platform, which was appealing to Tremor, whose CEO, Ofer Druker, told AdExchanger in early 2020 that getting more scale in the DSP category “is our priority.”
“We want to bring more demand on our platform and have more relationships with key brands,” Druker said at the time.
Although Amobee’s roots are in mobile, it’s been branching out into advanced TV over the past couple of years. In 2020, Amobee launched a self-serve platform to help advertisers link linear planning and buying in one place.
Amobee’s schtick has been to use CTV to help support and supplement linear TV, which is still a big part of the market despite the growth of streaming services.
Even so, Amobee isn’t known as a major CTV player, but bringing the company on board will help Tremor scale, which is a big part of the strategic rationale behind the deal.
Amobee, according to Tremor, will “significantly enhance its technology offering and business footprint” across all of Tremor’s “core growth drivers,” including data, CTV, performance capabilities, linear-TV-related tools and the self-serve DSP.
Bringing Amobee into the fold makes it the latest layer in Tremor’s ad tech roll-up spree.
In 2017, Tremor Video sold its demand-side business to mobile ad platform Taptica, which later rebranded itself back to Tremor Video (now a part of Tremor International). The sell-side part of Tremor’s business was renamed as Telaria, which later merged with Rubicon (now Magnite).
Amobee itself is a roll-up of sorts (over the years, it’s acquired Videology, Turn, Adconion, Kontera and AdJitsu, to name a few), so the union of Tremor and Amobee is a roll-up of a roll-up (so to speak).
The addition of Amobee, which has more than 500 customers around the world, including McDonald’s, Johnson & Johnson, Verizon, Mastercard and Comcast, will expand Tremor’s US and international reach.
Tremor claims the combined company will drive incremental financial growth within the first year after the deal closes, mainly across Tremor’s DSP business.