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M&A Report: Viacom, WebMD and Automattic In The News

M&A Report: Viacom, WebMD and Automattic 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, Viacom and CBS are reunited, WebMD expands its tech and Automattic bets small on Tumblr. 

Viacom is Merging With CBS 

Following a long period of closed-door negotiations, Viacom Inc. and CBS Corporation announced that they have reached an agreement to merge in an all-stock transaction valued at $30 billion. 

The merger, which is expected to close by year end, will create a combined company named ViacomCBS with an annual revenue of more than $28 billion. The new company will own a tremendous amount of content: 140,000 TV episodes, 36,000 films and 750 series. This war chest is theoretically enough to combat behemoths Disney, Netflix, and Comcast.

The combined corporation will have more clout to negotiate better rates with advertisers and further tackle the challenges of traditional TV in the peak digital streaming era. 

WebMD Acquires QxMD Software

WebMD Health Corp. — owner of both its flagship site and the more medically respectable Medscape — announced that it has acquired Vancouver-based learning technology company QxMD. 

QxMD is a computer software provider of digital medical calculators, mobile decision point tools and personalized learning solutions for clinicians. 

Combining OxMD’s learning technology with WebMD’s Medscape point-of-care and crowdsourcing solutions will bolster WebMD’s patient care offerings and best-in-class solutions for healthcare professionals.

Automattic Gets Tumblr 

But it’s unclear what, exactly, they plan to do with it. The parent company bought the not-quite-defunct social media site from Verizon — just two years after the telecommunications giant acquired it from Yahoo

Although financial terms were not disclosed, it was rumored to be less than $3 million. This reflects a drastic decrease in Tumblr’s market value, considering it was first acquired by Yahoo back in 2013 for $1.1 billion.

To Automattic, the acquisition of Tumblr naturally aligns with its businesses, as its subsidiary WordPress also allows users to create blogs and websites. Having two renowned blog websites working side by side will purportedly build better, more open and more complementary platforms for users. 

In Other News

These are some other notable deals and developments from the past week:

  • Fashion accessory company Steve Madden, Ltd. announced that it has acquired sneaker startup Greats Brands Inc. and women’s apparel label BB Dakota.
  • Accenture, a leading global professional services company, is set to acquire Analytics8, an Australian based consultancy that specializes in data management across multiple industries. 
  • Brookfield Business Partners, a subsidiary of private equity group Brookfield Asset Management, is set to acquire a 57% controlling interest in Genworth MI Canada Inc., an Ontario-based private residential mortgage insurer. 
  • Another month, another big tech company puts its hat in the ring of IPO hopefuls. WeWork’s parent company, The We Company, has officially filed paperwork to go public this past Wednesday. According to filed documents, the workspaces sharing company, currently valued at $47 billion, is aiming to raise $1 billion in an initial public offering. 
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