News Corp has been considering offers for its two digital marketing subsidiaries, Unruly and News America Marketing, since last year.
“We're very cognizant that the company trades at a discounted to some of the parts,” News Corp CEO Robert Thompson told investors on an earnings report in November. “We're seeking to rectify that situation and maximize value for all our shareholders.”
In other words, the ad tech businesses dampened investor opinions of News Corp stock.
Thompson, in a press release on Monday, said the sale of Unruly “marks an important step in our strategy of simplification.”
Twenty million dollars in Tremor shares is a far cry from the $90 million News Corp spent on Unruly in 2015.
But News Corp offloads the overhead from Unruly and its large engineering staff, as well as an unprofitable business unit from its balance sheet. And if Unruly and Tremor grow, News Corp gets more from the deal.
“Organically, you can grow and develop things at a certain pace,” said Unruly Global CEO Norm Johnston, who will join Tremor’s board and remain in charge of the Unruly business. “But in such a competitive landscape you need to continually think about the quantum leap you need to take to stay competitive.”