MediaRadar Blog

Advertising Mergers & Acquisitions: Aug. 1 - 17, 2018

Advertising Mergers & Acquisitions: Aug. 1 – 17, 2018

Last month, 123 deals worth $55 billion in total were tracked. While the largest deal was the $18.7 billion merger between Dr. Pepper Snapple Group and Keurig Green Mountain, the financial and technology industries still completed the most deals, as they normally do. The financial industry closed 20 while the technology industry closed 26. Let’s take a look at the completed and announced mergers and acquisitions, as well as some rumors and updates in the advertiser and brand space, from the first two weeks of August.

Completed Deals

These deals have gone through all necessary steps and have been completed.

AppNexus logo

  • AppNexus Inc. Acquired by AT&T Advertising & Analytics

AT&T (NYSE: T) has completed its acquisition of AppNexus, operator of an advertising marketplace, for $1.6 billion. AppNexus will join AT&T Advertising & Analytics. Their ad-tech capabilities will be integrated into AT&T’s ad-supported video businesses, including Turner Networks, Otter Media, and DIRECTV. The acquisition will extend AT&T’s advertising and analytics reach to Asia Pacific, Australia, Europe, and Latin America.

DouglasElliman logo

  • Vandenberg Inc. Acquired by Douglas Elliman Real Estate

Vandenberg, Inc., experts in the NYC townhouse real estate market, has been acquired by Douglas Elliman Real Estate, the third largest residential real estate brokerage company in the US. Vandenberg’s addition to the Douglas Elliman brand will help to boost its already leading position in the single-family home market. At the same time, Douglas Elliman’s extensive operations will allow Vandenberg to better take advantage of missed business opportunities because of their sole focus on townhouses.

Salary logo

  1. Acquired Compdata Surveys & Consulting, Inc., a provider of on-demand compensation and talent management solutions, has acquired Compdata Surveys & Consulting, a compensation, benefits, and data consulting firm. The combination of the two companies will create the third largest compensation data company in the U.S. with data from more than 25,000 organizations, 14 industries, and 100 countries.

Strayer University logo Capella University logo

  1. Capella Education Company Merged with Strayer Education

Strayer Education, Inc. has closed its $1.2 billion merger with Capella Education Company to form Strategic Education, Inc. (SEI) (NASDAQ: STRA). The combination brings together two of the largest for-profit education providers in the country and creates a system that serves approximately 85,000 students with improved affordability and better academic outcomes. Both companies will continue to operate independently as separate institutions under SEI.

WebMD logo

  • Vitals Consumer Services Acquired by WebMD

Internet Brands’ company, WebMD, has acquired Vitals Consumer Services Division from MDx Medical, Inc. The division, which includes and, provides consumers with online tools to connect to clinicians and other healthcare providers. The acquisition will also include the MedHelp tool, which acts as a patient-to-patient community platform. WebMD believes that the combination of their online healthcare presence with Vitals’ will generate more than 10 million monthly visits and drive new patients to healthcare provider networks and other health systems. The acquisition comes less than two months after WebMD’s June purchase of Jobson Healthcare Information.

Announcements and Updates

These deals have been announced, but are still subject to varying levels of approval. While it is likely that they will eventually close, there is a chance that they may be called off or altered. There are also updates to previously announced deals.

AMC Networks logo

  • AMC Acquiring RLJ Entertainment

AMC Networks (NASDAQ: AMCX) announced that it is acquiring RLJ Entertainment, Inc. for a total of $274 million. RLJ Entertainment is a digital channel company serving distinct audiences with high-quality British and international content via Acorn TV. It is the first subscription video-on-demand service for African Americans via Urban Movie Channel. According to AMC, the acquisition will boost its digital offerings with direct-to-consumer and ad-free subscription services.

GreatCall logo

  • GreatCall Being Acquired by Best Buy

Best Buy Co., Inc., (NYSE: BBY) the largest U.S. consumer electronics retailer, announced that it is acquiring GreatCall, Inc. in a $800 million deal, its biggest acquisition ever. GreatCall makes mobile and connected devices and provides emergency response services to seniors. This will be the second time GreatCall changed its ownership in the last 14 months; it was previously acquired by private equity firm, GTCR, in June 2017. Best Buy currently has a growing business of selling health and wellness devices. This acquisition will further its strategy and address the growing needs of an aging U.S. population.

MVMT logo

  • MVMT Watches Being Acquired by Movado Group, Inc.

Movado Group, Inc. (NYSE: MOV) has entered into an agreement to acquire MVMT Watches for approximately $100 million. The addition of the MVMT Watches brand, which is popular among Millennials, will enable Movado to advance their digital strategy and strengthen the company’s direct-to-consumer pipeline. MVMT, on the other hand, will profit from Movado’s well-established global infrastructure and distribution network, allowing them to progress into unexplored channels and locations.

Zarbee;s Natural logo

  • Johnson & Johnson to Acquire Zarbee’s Naturals

Johnson & Johnson Consumer Inc., the consumer health division of Johnson & Johnson (NYSE: JNJ), has reached an agreement to acquire Zarbee’s Naturals. Zarbee’s Naturals is a manufacturer of naturally-based dietary supplements and OTC drugs; it is also famous for its drug-free cough syrup for children. This acquisition could help Johnson & Johnson better reach health-conscious Millennials and it also marks Johnson & Johnson’s entry into the dietary supplement market.

Rumor Mill

This section contains potential deals that are rumored to be in the works, although nothing has been confirmed yet.

Landmark Theatres logo

  • Amazon in Running to Acquire Landmark Theatres

E-commerce giant, (NASDAQ: AMZN), is reportedly one of many hopefuls vying for Landmark Theatres. Amazon already has a film and TV studio, Amazon Studios, as well as a music service, Amazon Prime Music. But, the Landmark acquisition would give the company an additional outlet to distribute their films; Landmark has more than 50 theaters with 252 screens in 27 markets. The possible acquisition would also mark Amazon’s second meaningful foray into the physical retail space following their acquisition of Whole Foods last year.

tronc logo

  • Donerail Group in Talks for Tronc

Sources say that investment firm, Donerail Group, is in talks to acquire Tronc, Inc. (NASDAQ: TRNC), the newspaper publisher whose portfolio includes Chicago Tribune, the New York Daily News, and The Baltimore Sun. Neither organization has confirmed this news due to the confidential nature of the negotiations. But, if these talks were to evolve into a deal, it would make Tronc the latest US newspaper brand to be taken over by a private equity firm or hedge fund; Nant Capital acquired the Los Angeles Times and San Diego Union-Tribune from Tronc this past June. Tronc is currently the third-largest newspaper publisher in the United States.