Advised goviral, a distributor of branded online video content, on its sale to AOL
Jan 2011
acquired by
  • Sector: Media & Internet; Digital, IT & Tech Services
  • Deal Type: Strategic Deals; Venture Capital Exits
  • Engagement type: Sellside
  • Size: <$200m
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Arma Partners is pleased to announce that it acted as exclusive financial adviser to the shareholders of goviral A/S (“goviral”) on the sale of goviral to AOL Inc (NYSE:AOL) (“AOL”) for total consideration of $96.7m.

AOL completed the purchase of goviral for $74.1 million and, in addition, $22.6 million of consideration will be deferred and paid over two years following completion.

goviral distributes branded video content across the Internet for some of the world’s largest and most esteemed brands, media agencies, creative agencies and content producers. goviral will retain its offices in the UK, Germany, France, Denmark, Sweden and Spain – and further global expansion is planned. goviral’s current video content distribution network includes more than 18,000 publishers across 24 verticals, allowing its clients to reach well over 350 million global Internet users and generate more than 60 million video views monthly. Specialising in the distribution of viewer-activated videos, it has delivered unique campaigns for some of the world’s most progressive and well known brands including Nike, LG, Unilever, Paramount, Nokia, Hyundai/Kia, Audi, Nintendo and Gucci.

The transaction will further strengthen AOL’s video offerings in Europe and ultimately North America and will deliver further scale, placing it in pole position to expand its reach internationally, engage new highly targeted consumer audiences and serve its advertising partners.

goviral was backed by leading growth equity investor Kennet.

– goviral distributes branded video content across the internet for brands, media agencies, creative agencies and content producers

– goviral’s current video content distribution network includes more than 18,000 publishers across 24 verticals, allowing its clients to reach well over 350m global Internet users and generate more than 60m video views monthly

– It has delivered unique campaigns for brands including Nike, LG, Audi and Gucci

– AOL is a leading web services company with over 80 branded / content sites including Engadget, TechCrunch and Huffington Post

– In December 2010, AOL delivered 406m video streams and had ca.50m monthly active users of video
AOL’s business strategy is to become the leading portal for online content, products and services, in turn driving advertising revenues

– In 2010, the AOL group generated over $2.4bn of revenue

– AOL is migrating from a dial-up business into a leading digital media content company with a substantial global audience and monetization capabilities

– Video is critical to AOL’s strategy and mid-term success, competing directly with Google’s YouTube to capture share of video advertising revenues

– goviral has created a very effective monetization platform that delivers highly measureable solutions to publishers and advertisers – delivers CPMs of over €200 vs. typical display CPMs of ca.€5

– The transaction will further strengthen AOL’s video offerings in Europe and ultimately North America and will deliver further scale, placing it in pole position to expand its reach internationally, engage new highly targeted consumer audiences and serve its advertising partners

– goviral had received inbound expressions of interest due to its unique position in the video/content distribution landscape

– Arma combined these approaches with focused enquiries of a small handful of other relevant players to provide goviral’s board with insight into acquirer interest

– Arma also worked with management to articulate goviral’s growth strategy and financial plan
Once AOL had been identified as the strongest buyer, Arma, together with the management team, was able to drive this successful process to completion within a compact timeframe

– The transaction valuation provides a highly attractive return for the shareholders and financial investors, and AOL can take advantage of synergy opportunities as it leverages its expertise within goviral’s content distribution platform