Weborama Makes Late Bid For The Sizmek Ad Server And DCO

One week after Amazon reached a “definitive agreement” to buy the Sizmek ad server and DCO tech, the French ad tech company Weborama is trying Friday to re-open the process with a press release and what it claims is a larger offer.

FTI Consulting, the financial advisory overseeing Sizmek’s bankruptcy review, emphasized its agreement with Amazon through the following statement:

“We’ve signed an agreement for Amazon to acquire Sizmek’s ad server and DCO assets and are seeking expeditious Court approval for it.”

Weborama has been a contender for the ad server since March, when Sizmek filed for bankruptcy and was put up for sale, according to sources with knowledge of the bidding process.

But Weborama’s last-minute grab for Sizmek is highly unusual – it issued a press release at the same time it sent the bid to FTI.

Lévy declined to say how much Weborama bid for Sizmek’s assets, though he said that financing would not be a problem.

Still, with a market cap of about $25 million, Weborama can’t beat Amazon if the ecommerce giant is committed to the Amazon deal.

Weborama trades on Euronext, the Paris stock exchange, and its majority shareholder is Ycor, a French marketing and tech investment vehicle operated by Maurice Lévy, chairman and former CEO of Publicis Groupe (and father of Weborama’s Alain Lévy).

The potential business synergies are the main impetus for Weborama’s offer, because the ad server is the linchpin for digital measurement and ad tech data, Lévy said. He added that keeping the Sizmek ad server from disappearing into a walled garden platform is an important goal as well.

“Sizmek has great value to us because there aren’t many global players in ad serving, aside form Google,” he said. “And it’s important to stake that if Sizmek goes to a walled garden too, it’s practically the end of independent initiatives in this market.”

Considering the immense value Google has been able to leverage since acquiring the DoubleClick ad server, Lévy said he’s troubled by Amazon picking up the next-largest piece of the market at a bargain bin rate.

And he is keenly aware of the value of data extracted by the ad server because Weborama already owns one, though it has a pittance of the market share compared to Sizmek.

A major incentive for Weborama is that Sizmek’s business would extend their ad server from France and European countries to the U.S., Canada and other global markets.

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