On January 6, Termor International Ltd, an Israeli video ad tech firm, has agreed to buy Unruly from Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp. The video advertising platform came at a deep discount from what was paid by New Corp back in 2015.
This highlights several different trends in ad tech, one of which is ad tech consolidation. Another one is the hopes of media companies that have been dashed when the realize market share gains over the likes of Google and Facebook by acquiring high-priced but unprofitable ad tech startups.
The Unruly sale “marks an important step in our strategy of simplification.” News Corp CEO Robert Thomson said in a statement.
Unruly was acquired in 2015 by News Corp for a reported $90 million in cash with the focus of propelling the traditional publisher’s digital video ad business. “Unruly is a feisty and creative company with a start-up sensibility,” News Corp CEO Robert Thomson said at the time. News Corp is now offloading the unprofitable company five years later for a small stake (6.91%) in Tremor and a board set for News Corps’ Rebekah Brooks, who is the former Sun and News of the World editor. She stepped down from the company in the phone-hacking scandal of 2011, but ended up rejoining News Corp as UK CEO four years ago. Brooks expects to join the Tremor board along with Unruly CEO Norm Johnston. With this deal, according to Sky News, News Corp’s stake is put around just $25 million based on Tremor’s market capitalization of $363 million.
Tremor is going to be the exclusive seller of outstream video on News Corp’s more than 50 digital publications in the US, UK, and Australia. They will be committing to spend $39 million on ads with News Corp over a three year period, per deal. News Corp says that Unruly possesses over 2,000 publisher integrations and partnerships with large advertisers.
“Unruly will benefit from Tremor’s wide range of formats, including advanced TV and In-App, as well as an analytics suite and yield optimisation tools,” said Johnston said in a statement.
“With this deal, Unruly and the relationship with News Corp bolster Tremor International’s supply side platform, giving us a global footprint and allowing us to more rapidly take our recently acquired RhythmOne offering to an international market,” said Ofer Druker, CEO of Tremor International.