In keeping with our mission to provide comprehensive advertising analysis, MediaRadar puts together a report of the most important mergers and acquisitions news each week. Stay in the loop, whether you sell advertising space or focus on business development.
This week, Gap boosted its eCommerce features with Drapr. Empire Media Group is ready to begin its relaunch of Knewz. And Verizon sold Yahoo! and AOL to a private equity group.
Gap invests in virtual fitting room tech, Drapr
Gap, Inc. has announced it acquired Drapr, a virtual fitting room for online clothing retail. The e-commerce startup uses 3D virtual try-on technology that allows customers to shop for clothing that fits their body type.
The move follows other companies like SnapChat and Walmart, both of which have invested in similar technology for the online clothes shopper.
Last month, Gap Inc.’s Old Navy stores launched the BODEQUALITY program, making the company the first value retailer to offer sizes 0-30 and XS-4X for all women’s styles with no price difference.
The stores will also use plus-sized mannequins and models with their products in stores and online.
Empire Media Group purchased Knewz
Media conglomerate Empire Media Group has acquired the news-aggregating platform Knewz from the Murdoch-owned News Corp. Knewz was launched in a defiant effort to gain leverage against Google and Facebook’s control over what news content reaches viewers.
The website is a cyboric collaboration of AI programs that scour the internet for stories which then go to editors to curate and repackage. The project lasted 18 months before it was shut down.
Empire Media Group is led by former American Media Inc executive Dylan Howard. The company has completed several digital acquisitions this year. The relaunched and rebranded Knewz will feature alongside EMG’s other media properties including RadarOnline, OKmagazine.com, and Front Page Detectives.
Financial terms of the deal were not made public.
Yahoo! has a new owner: Apollo Global
Private equity firm Apollo Global Management announced it has acquired Yahoo and AOL from Verizon in a deal valued at approximately $5 billion. As part of the terms of the transaction, Verizon will hold onto 10% of the rebranded company.
Verizon paid around $4.4 billion in its acquisition of AOL in 2014, then $4.5 billion for Yahoo in 2017. The company sold Tumblr, a Yahoo-owned brand which had been valued at $1.1 billion in 2013, to WordPress for $3 million in 2019.
With the sale of Yahoo and AOL, Verizon has fully exited the media production and advertising business. Going forward, Yahoo will operate as a standalone company under Apollo Funds.
In Other News
Other highlights from this week include:
- Apple, Inc. has announced it acquired the classical music streaming service Primephonic.
- ByteDance Ltd., the parent company of TikTok announced the acquisition of the virtual reality hardware manufacturer Pico Interactive.
- Medical products company Baxter International Inc. announced that it has entered into an agreement to acquire medical technology company Hill-Rom Holdings Inc. for $10.5 billion.
- Pharmaceuticals company Catalent, Inc. announced that it is acquiring Bettera Holdings LLC, the parent company of Bettera Brands, from Highlander Partners for $1 billion.
- Following its earlier announcement to stop selling cigarettes in the U.K. by 2030, Philip Morris International’s CEO Jacek Olczak told the Daily Mail that the company has considered selling its Marlboro cigarette business. However, the decision was later halted because the company decided that keeping the business would help finance its transition away from smoking products.