Magnite, which claims to be the largest independent sell-side advertising platform, announced over the weekend it is buying SpotX from RTL Group for $1.17 billion in cash and stock. SpotX is one of the leading platforms shaping CTV and video advertising globally.

Goldman Sachs and LUMA Partners acted as financial advisors to Magnite and Goldman Sachs is providing committed financing for the transaction. Gibson Dunn provided legal counsel to Magnite.

Together, Magnite and SpotX say the deal will create the largest independent CTV and video advertising platform in the programmatic marketplace.

The goal of the deal is to deliver better support for sellers, create an alternative to the CTV advertising market’s largest players, and greatly improve scale and efficiency for buyers.

According to said Michael Barrett, President & CEO of Magnite, “Sellers have been looking for a scaled independent alternative to the giant companies who dominate the CTV marketplace.”

Michael Barrett, CEO Magnite.

He said the combination of Magnite and SpotX will make this a reality by bringing together the best CTV technologies and teams at a critical time. “Ad-supported CTV is just beginning to draw budgets from linear TV and we will be well-positioned to participate in the strongest segment of industry growth for the foreseeable future.”

“As CTV flourishes and the media industry continues to turn to programmatic, there is a huge opportunity for an independent scaled company to offer the single most comprehensive technology in the market,” said Mike Shehan, Co-Founder and CEO at SpotX. “We built SpotX with the mission of becoming the leading global video advertising platform, and our goal is now coming to fruition with Magnite.”

Thomas Rabe, CEO of RTL Group, said “This transaction allows for significant value creation and upside potential for the parties, sellers, and advertisers in the growing CTV market. We look forward to participating in the future success of SpotX and Magnite as shareholders in the combined entity.”

Together, Magnite and SpotX will serve some of the world’s leading programmers, broadcasters, platforms and device manufacturers, including A+E Networks, Crackle Plus, The CW Network, Discovery, Disney/Hulu, Electronic Arts, Fox Corporation, fuboTV, Microsoft, Newsy, Philo TV, Pluto TV, Roku, Samsung, Sling TV, Tubi, ViacomCBS, Vizio, Vudu, WarnerMedia and Xumo.

Magnite says that with expanded technical capabilities and teams it will be able to move more quickly and cater to a broader set of client needs, including sellers that are newer to the world of programmatic and those who have mature, programmatic-only operations. Likewise, the parties claim the acquisition will make it easier for brands and agencies to buy premium CTV inventory at scale with standard features and a single, addressable pool of audiences.

Transaction Details

Magnite is targeting in excess of $35 million in run-rate operating cost synergies, with more than half of the synergies realized within the first year of combined operations.

The company plans to finance the transaction with cash on hand, 14 million shares issued to RTL Group and committed financing from Goldman Sachs. The company expects the transaction to close in the second quarter of 2021, subject to receipt of regulatory approvals and satisfaction of customary closing conditions. Until the transaction closes, both companies will continue to operate independently.

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