E5C970DF-8D3C-4D9C-94D2-D346C03B48D3 17. December 2012

Ströer AG moves into online business

Supervisory Board backs acquisition of independent online marketers

 

Cologne, 17.12.2012 -  In an ad-hoc announcement published yesterday, Ströer Out-of-Home Media AG announced that its Supervisory Board had approved the conclusion of a purchase agreement and a preliminary agreement concerning the acquisition of four online advertising marketers in total. The agreements relate to adscale GmbH (91 percent) and to the shares held by Media Ventures GmbH in Ströer Interactive GmbH (100 percent), freeXmedia GmbH (100 percent) and Business Advertising GmbH (50.4 percent). All of the transactions are still subject to various conditions, including approval by the Federal Cartel Office and a further signed purchase agreement by the end of this year. Final closing of the contracts is expected by the end of April 2013.

 

Both parties have agreed to maintain confidentiality about the cash purchase price for the shares acquired in adscale GmbH. Once the respective conditions have been met, the shares in the other companies will be contributed by Media Ventures GmbH as a contribution in kind in return for an expected total of max. 6.8m new shares from authorised capital at Ströer AG.

 

Alongside its core business field of out-of-home advertising, the planned transactions will in just one move put Ströer AG in a very good position in the German online advertising market. This way, Ströer is positioning itself as a strong publisher-independent provider, one simultaneously capable of covering the entire online advertising marketing value chain from a single source. The marketing services in Ströer’s new online business will then include both traditional exclusive marketing and premium-like vertical specialist marketing, as well as an automated real-time trading platform for online advertising inventory.

 

“For Ströer, the market leader and pioneer in out-of-home advertising, this step towards independently marketing online display, video and mobile inventory represents a compelling strategic move”, commented Christian Schmalzl, Chief Operating Officer of Ströer AG. “We are supplementing our out-of-home advertising, which is highly brand-focused, with more transaction-based audience and reach marketing on the internet. With the four providers combined, the newly established online business will achieve greater reach enabling it to position itself more strongly compared with large publisher-bound marketers and TV offerings. According to ComScore, Adscale alone already provides for coverage of more than 44 million unique visitors. That corresponds to more than 75% of internet users in Germany.”

 

Transferring the strong sales capabilities available at Ströer AG to the new online platforms will create an attractive offering for advertisers, both for customers advertising nationwide and for those with a regional focus. Here, Ströer’s proven marketing system in the field of digital out-of-home advertising is comparable with the online business.

 

“Becoming part of the Ströer Group, and above all the chance to dovetail our business with high-quality online marketers, will give adscale access to growth opportunities we would otherwise not have been able to exploit”, comments Matthias Pantke, managing director and company spokesman. “Together, we can build up a far-reaching offering in terms of reach, targeting and booking efficiency for marketing digital content online and while in transit ”

 

All of the companies are planned to be pooled and managed in a separate unit as “Ströer online”. Overall operating responsibility for the business performance of the new segment will be in the hands of Christian Schmalzl, the Group’s new Chief Operating Officer. He has the experience and competence necessary to exploit the growth potential in this segment and firmly anchor it within the Ströer Group.

 

By entering the online business, Ströer AG is driving the process of consolidation now emerging in the online market. Like in the out-of-home advertising market, Ströer will play a key role in shaping this development and aims to further significantly expand its position in the online segment in the medium term.

 

Based in Munich, adscale GmbH operates a transparent, high-range trading platform for digital advertising surfaces. The company, with 80 individuals in permenant employment, works together with leading marketers and media agencies who use the platform to centrally book campaigns and simultaneously optimise their audience targeting. To this end, adscale offers an exhaustive range of websites, advertising formats and targeting methods, including real-time bidding. adscale’s managing directors, Matthias Pantke and Stephan Kern, will remain shareholders in the company and will also continue to be responsible for managing the company in future.

 

The seller of the other three online advertising marketers is Media Ventures GmbH, which is owned by Dirk Ströer (51%) and Udo Müller (49%). Dirk Ströer is a member of the Supervisory Board at Ströer AG, while Udo Müller is Chairman of the company’s Management Board. Based in Hamburg, Ströer Interactive GmbH reaches around 22 million unique users with its portfolio of premium and special interest sites, service and community portals (according to AGOF internet facts 2012-09) and is thus Germany’s largest independent online marketer.

 

Context-related marketing also includes the specialist portals focusing on SME players, business and finance pooled at the shareholding Business Advertising GmbH (share held by Media Ventures: 50.4%).

 

FreeXMedia GmbH is synonymous with high-quality contexts in various topical areas, such as sport and entertainment. Here, the company can also draw on moving image and mobile formats to offer target group-specific, contact class-optimised campaign management.

 

Further information:

 

About adscale

www.adscale.de

 

About Business Advertising GmbH

www.businessad.de

 

About freeXmedia GmbH

www.freexmedia.de

 

About Ströer Interactive GmbH

www.stroeer-interactive.de

 

About Media Ventures GmbH

www.mediaventures.de