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M&A 2.16 Taos, Thunder, Kount

M&A‌ ‌Report:‌ Kount, Taos Mountain, and Thunder Industries In‌ ‌the‌ ‌News‌ ‌

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, Equifax acquired Kount, IBM bought Taos Mountain LLC, ‌and Walmart gained ad tech company Thunder Industries.

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Equifax buys Kount, expands AI offerings

Equifax has completed its acquisition of Kount, an Artificial Intelligence (AI)-driven fraud prevention and digital identity solutions provider. When the deal was first announced last month it valued Kount at a reported $640 million, to be financed with profits from a lucrative 2020 for Equifax. 

With the closure of the deal Kount has been folded into the USIS business unit at Equifax and the company’s CEO, Bradley Wiskirchen, assumed the role of Senior Vice President and General Manager of the new Boise, Idaho-based division of Equifax USIS. 

The acquisition will expand Equifax’s global footprint in digital identity and fraud prevention solutions, allowing businesses all over the world to harness the power of AI to establish strong digital identity trust and better engage with their customers online. 

Kount, in turn, will benefit from their new association with a well-established brand with a large global presence already, enabling them “to further accelerate growth, innovation and fraud protection across the entire customer journey.”

IBM gains Taos Mountain from Bunker Hill Capital

IBM Corporation has completed the acquisition of cloud-based software and consulting company Taos Mountain LLC from private equity firm Bunker Hill Capital. The financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed. 

Founded in 1989, Taos is one of the largest multi-cloud consulting firms in North America that helps companies migrate their in-house data servers to a remote data center or the cloud. Taos has partnered with major cloud providers including Amazon Web Services, Google Cloud Platform, and Microsoft Azure, and its client list includes household names like Target, Netflix, and Sephora. 

In recent years, enterprises are increasingly shifting their IT workloads to the cloud, and the Covid-19 pandemic has likely accelerated that trend. With thousands of companies expected to migrate to the cloud in the coming years and Taos’ technical expertise in data center migration, IBM sees an opportunity to boost the company’s hybrid cloud computing offerings.

Walmart acquires Thunder Industries, strengthening advertising and marketing branch

Walmart is attempting to strengthen their position in the advertising and marketing market. Just two weeks after announcing that it would be rebranding its advertising business with both a new look and a new name, Walmart Connect, the retail giant has announced that they are acquiring the technology and assets of PaperG Inc., which does business as Thunder Industries. 

Thunder is a next-generation adtech company that uses automation to create digital ads. Walmart intends to use Thunder’s technology to debut a self-service tool “that will help advertisers create and buy several versions of display ads that will be able to target different kinds of consumers on its properties.” That particular offering should be available next year. 

No terms of the deal have been disclosed but Walmart did reveal that they will not be acquiring Thunder’s existing customer contracts. Following the close of the deal, the integration of Thunder’s technology should help Walmart be better positioned to focus on small businesses, an explicitly stated growth effort for the company.

In‌ ‌Other‌ ‌News‌ ‌

Other notable events this week include:

  • Centerfield Media Holdings, LLC, a marketing and customer acquisition company, announced that it has acquired and
  • Online real estate platform operator Zillow Group announced that it will acquire Chicago-based company ShowingTime for $500 million.
  • Video game company EA Electronic Arts Inc. announced that it is acquiring GluMobile Inc., a leading developer and publisher of mobile games.
  • Israeli-based marketplace for freelance services, Fiverr, is making a sure bet on Working Not Working, a talent resource used by heavy hitters like Google, Netflix, Spotify, Droga5, and Wieden+Kennedy.
  • DoorDash announced that it is acquiring Chowbotics, a robotics startup that can make custom fresh salads in under a minute.
  • According to an article from The Wall Street Journal, hedge fund Alden Global Capital LLC is in talks to purchase the remaining stake in Tribune Publishing Company that it doesn’t own.
  • The Financial Times reported that Microsoft has approached $51 billion social media company Pinterest Inc. about a takeover in recent months.