The German competition authority Bundeskartellamt approved the acquisition of Germany’s largest internet portal, t-online.de, and the country’s biggest digital marketer, InteractiveMedia, according to AGOF Digital Facts, without any restrictions. The transaction value is some EUR 300 million and will take place as part of a capital increase at Ströer against contributions in kind from both companies. Deutsche Telekom AG will be a shareholder of Ströer and will hold around 11.5% of Ströer’s increased capital.
“We are pleased with the Bundeskartellamt’s approval. Thanks to our experience in the consolidation of the external advertising market in Germany, we will be able to integrate our digital acquisition quickly and efficiently and leverage synergies across the entire value chain. We expect the online advertising market to continue to consolidate in future, both in terms of inventory and data. The feedback from everyone we talked to at the world’s largest digital trade fair, dmexco, in Cologne last week was absolutely clear: the acquisition of t-online.de, InteractiveMedia and OMS (the latter is subject to approval from the Bundeskartellamt) lifts us to new heights as a group and will further generate greater interest in our products and communication solutions among our customers,” commented Udo Müller, CEO of Ströer SE.
On August 27, 2015, just a few days after signing the sales agreement for the acquisition of t-online.de and InteractiveMedia, AGOF established the first standardized coverage currency for internet usage in Germany after two years of preparation and overcoming significant methodological obstacles. This new currency now provides for a comprehensive, integrated and device-independent overview of internet usage in Germany, creating a new benchmark for the entire industry.
According to AGOF, the unconditional approval of the acquisition of InteractiveMedia by the Bundeskartellamt makes Ströer (excl. OMS) the clear leader in the German market in terms of reach with 42.95 million internet users. t-online.de, which was additionally acquired by Ströer, is Germany’s largest internet portal in terms of reach. It also sharply increased its lead in the ranking with more than 31 million users, compared to eBay with some 21 million users.
Extrapolation of marketers ranking after the merger of Ströer Digital and InteractiveMedia’s range ofservices based on the current AGOF ranking 06/2015 Digital Facts
Unique users (millions)
United Internet Media
Axel Springer Media Impact
eBay Advertising Group Deutschland
Unique users (million)
“We are on the right track with a clear number-one position in standardized, integrated reach in internet usage in Germany. With 42.95 million unique users, we reach more than 80 percent of all German internet users. Our objective is to continue to expand our position in the coming quarters,” said Udo Müller, CEO of Ströer SE.
The closing of the acquisitions of t-online.de and InteractiveMedia is scheduled for November 2, 2015. A mid-range single-digit million contribution to earnings is expected in the current fiscal year, and Ströer expects to see a boost for the Christmas business. Consolidated revenue in the portal business of t-online.de and the online marketer InteractiveMedia will total more than EUR 100 million in 2015. The expected consolidated contribution of both companies to Ströer SE’s operational EBITDA amounts to around EUR 35 million before synergies. The acquisition immediately lifts earnings per share. In this context, an increase of at least five percent is anticipated before synergies in 2016.
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