Yahoo! Announces Agreement to Acquire 3i backed BlueLithium
Yahoo! Inc. (Nasdaq:YHOO), a leading global Internet company, today announced that it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire BlueLithium, one of the largest and fastest growing online global ad networks that offers an array of direct response products and capabilities for advertisers and publishers. Under the terms of the agreement, Yahoo! will acquire BlueLithium for approximately $300 million in cash.
"BlueLithium's products, technology and team will be an integral part of our drive to build the industry's leading advertising and publishing network," said Jerry Yang, chief executive officer, Yahoo! Inc. "This acquisition will extend our ability to deliver powerful data analytics, advanced targeting and innovative media buying strategies to our customers, who are increasingly looking for these insights. By leveraging BlueLithium's complementary expertise and tools, we will be able to better address the needs of our performance-based display advertisers and enhance the value of our publishers' inventory."
The addition of BlueLithium is the logical next step in creating the largest and most effective online ad network globally, which includes inventory on Yahoo!'s owned and operated properties, the Yahoo! Publisher Network, and the Right Media Exchange. According to comScore Media Metrix, BlueLithium is the fifth largest ad network in the US and second largest in the UK with 145 million unique visitors each month.
"We believe that Yahoo! is the ideal home for BlueLithium, as we share a common goal of providing both advertisers and publishers with high quality inventory and the essential targeting and analytical tools that are necessary to reach the right consumers at the right times," said Gurbaksh Chahal, founder, chairman and chief executive officer for BlueLithium. "We are extremely excited about becoming a part of the Yahoo! network and believe that together, we'll have the opportunity to shape the future of the online advertising industry."
The combination of BlueLithium's assets and relationships with Yahoo!'s overall ad network will give advertisers access to powerful data analytics, advanced targeting, and innovative direct-response buying strategies across a broad range of high quality inventory. BlueLithium's product capabilities include: audience targeting based on consumer interests; remarketing ads to consumers across the Web who have interacted with an ad or web page; custom segmentation; spot buying capabilities to extend reach and frequency against a marketer's target audience. Publishers will have greater access to advertising budgets through Yahoo!'s sales force and through the Right Media Exchange, where BlueLithium will be an active participant. Additionally, BlueLithium provides media buying expertise that is complementary to the Yahoo! Publisher Network, enabling Yahoo! to further extend the reach and frequency of the quality audience advertisers have come to expect.
3i invested in BlueLithium's 2005 series A $11.5m funding and actively supported BlueLithium with the expansion of its operations into Europe, introducing their current European MD to the business, Tim Brown.
BlueLithium will become a wholly-owned subsidiary of Yahoo!. CEO Gurbaksh Chahal will remain with BlueLithium for an interim period through the integration. The transaction is subject to customary closing conditions, including regulatory approval. It is expected the transaction will be completed in the fourth quarter of 2007.
Notes to editors
With offices in San Jose (HO), London, Paris, New York, Los Angeles, Boston, San Francisco, Chicago, Boston, Atlanta and Belarus, BlueLithium is the leading data-driven performance marketing company, using data from 145 million consumers worldwide, sophisticated analytics and advanced ad targeting technologies to create value for both publishers and marketers. Founded in 2004, the company was named 2006 Innovator of the Year by AlwaysOn and has been named one of the top 100 private companies in America for three consecutive years. For more information, visitwww.bluelithium.co.uk
3i is a world leader in private equity and venture capital. We focus on buyouts, growth capital and venture capital and invest across Europe, in the United States and Asia. Our competitive advantage comes from our international network and the strength and breadth of our relationships in business. These underpin the value that we deliver to our portfolio and to our shareholders.
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