RealTime IT News

ValueClick to Buy Mediaplex

Ad network ValueClick will buy online ad technology player Mediaplex in a $43.9 million stock deal that both firms said would create a full-service digital marketing powerhouse.

Under the terms of the agreement, Mediaplex's shareholders will receive .4113 shares of Westlake Village, Calif.-based ValueClick for each share of Mediaplex common stock, or about $1.32 per share, a 45 percent premium over Mediaplex's Friday close of $0.91.

Following the acquisition, San Francisco-based Mediaplex would become a wholly owned subsidiary of ValueClick. Mediaplex's president and chief executive officer, Tom Vadnais, will continue to serve as CEO of the unit.

The purchase, which requires shareholder and regulatory approval, serves to beef up ValueClick's technology business with a highly regarded player in the field. Mediaplex, best known for its ad serving platform for advertisers, saw a sizable expansion of its own business last week, purchasing the advertising agency clients of ad server Interadnet.

According to the companies, Mediaplex's MOJO technology -- which is geared toward advertisers -- would be combined with ValueClick's lesser-known Dynamo ad server, which to date has been largely a publisher-focused offering.

That combination aims to build a DoubleClick-like one-stop-shop for publisher and advertiser serving technology, as well as online media. Unlike the larger CPM-based firm, however, ValueClick sells its inventory on a cost-per-click or cost-per-action basis. (DoubleClick, the industry leader, also owns a 10 percent stake in ValueClick.)

"The acquisition of Mediaplex continues to build our product suite so that we can provide our customers with comprehensive choices and services," said Jim Zarley, ValueClick's chairman and chief executive officer. "Being able to extend our product offerings while achieving the significant cost reductions we have planned will ensure both the growth potential and financial stability that is needed in the market."

As a result, ValueClick will pitch Mediaplex's products to its advertising clients, which includes the Coca-Cola Company, GlaxoSmithKline and Citigroup.

According to Vadnais, the joint advertiser and publisher product suites will "establish a powerful combination of service offerings."

We believe this merger will yield benefits both internally and for both our respective e-business clients," he said.