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Media.net acquired by Chinese consortium in a massive, $900 million deal

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China’s continued stronghold over American tech companies through giant acquisition isn’t stopping. Media.net, an AdTech company that is known for running advertisements on the likes of Yahoo, Bing and various other major virtual destinations, has been picked up by a Chinese consortium in a mega deal worth around $900 million USD.

At the other end of the deal is Miteno Communication Technology, a Chinese tech conglomerate that is paying a massive $900 million for the company. Although the sale is taking place through a consortium, it is Miteno that is really spearheading the deal. The Chinese firm is over a decade old and specializes in IT infrastructure investments and mobile Internet operations and services, making it well placed to make use of the portfolio of services offered by Media.net.

Speaking of Media.net, the company is one of the largest and most profitable ones in the AdTech niche. Along with a seriously huge list of publishers that includes well known names like Yahoo!, Bing, Forbes, Cosmopolitan and others, the company also deploys some advance technology to place advertisements. It has seven offices in various locations across the world, including global headquarters in Dubai, and U.S. headquarters in New York City.

The company has annual revenues well in excess of $232 million and currently manages more than $450 million of annual advertising revenue via its platform. Media.net also boasts of a significant mobile presence and generates over 50%  revenue from mobile users, which is another huge point in its favor, considering the increasingly mobile driven economy.

Speaking on the topic, Divyank Turakhia, Media.net’s founder and CEO said,

Our team has spent the last several years putting together one of the most comprehensive platforms for AdTech, and we are just getting started. The acquisition will enable us to be an even greater platform for innovation and investment on a global scale.

The team mentioned above consists of over 800 members, which is a significant number of employees for a company in the AdTech domain. Meanwhile, US is the biggest of its markets, accounting for over 90 percent of the company’s total revenue.

A word needs to be said here about Turakhia and his long list of achievements as well. A serial entrepreneur with a proven track record and several great sell outs, he made his first million at the age of just 18, and is moving on to cross the $1 Billion mark post this acquisition, at merely 34. The deal is proving to be a  particularly good one for him, considering that it is propelling him into the billionaires list while still leaving him in control of his company.

Certainly nothing much to complain about here. Although he did remark that he should have done a deal of the sort earlier.

I should have done it two years ago. I’m late, I just didn’t realize I was this late.

Amazingly enough, a lot of the value for this deal stems from Turakhia himself. Miteno’s chairman, Mr. Zhang went on to say almost as much in a statement.

The primary reason for the acquisition was not [Media.net’s] high profit, but more of the management team and the technology staff.

The deal is an all cash one and will be paid out in two installments. While consortium has agreed to pay out the first $426 million immediately, the remaining $474 million will follow as a second installment, later.

Interestingly enough, Media.net has seen some bad times as well. One of its major backers, Ashmore Investment Management Limited marked down its stake in Media.net back in 2014 by as much as 39%. While the company cited deteriorating operating performance and limited diversification of revenues as its reasons, the number of bidders received by Media.net along with its final going price certainly tell a different story.

Meanwhile, the fact that a Chinese consortium is acquiring Media.net — which has most of its operations in the US — is certainly very interesting as well. AdTech in China lags behind several other global markets, and the ecosystem appears to be making attempts to correct this shortcoming by way of acquisitions.

Several other notable acquisitions in the domain to have occurred this very year include mobile ad-tech startup NativeX, which was acquired by Chinese ad-network Mobvista for $24.5 million, and mobile advertising company Smaato — which was gobbled up by Beijing-based Spearhead Integrated Marketing Communication Group for $148 million.

Oh, and as the Media.net page so prominently mentions, the $900 million deal is the third largest one in the history of AdTech. Nice!

A bibliophile and a business enthusiast.

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