SingTel exits adtech business with US$239m sale of Amobee

Advertising DMP purchased by rival cross-channel advertising orchestration player, Tremor International

Singtel has attributed its decision to sell its digital adtech business, Amobee, for US$239 million to its decision to focus on higher-return growth areas.

The Singapore-based telco is divesting its US digital media and advertising subsidiary to adtech firm, Tremor International, under a deal valued at US$239 million. After transaction costs and adjustments for debt, the net proceed SingTel expects to realise from the sale was $197 million.

The divestment comes nearly nine years after SingTel first bought the Amobee DMP business, a deal it said would help it scale and deliver real-time, personalised marketing to mobile consumers. The original acquisition was worth US$321 million.

The purchase was complemented in 2014 by the $150m acquisition of content analytics platform, Konterra, as well as cross-channel advertising player operating in both the US and Australia, Adconion, for US$235 million, or $209 million excluding debt. In addition, under SingTel ownership, Amobee had been complemented by further acquisitions. These include the US$310m purchase of programmatic adtech vendor, Turn, in 2017. At that time, SingTel said the deal brought its total investment into Amobee to $1 billion.

In a statement, SingTel said the decision to divest Amobee is in line with a strategic reset to sharpen its business focus and recycle assets and capital into growth areas with higher returns. The confirmed in May announced that Amobee, a non-core business, was classified as a subsidiary held for sale in March this year. Following the Amobee divestment, Singtel will cease to hold any equity interest in the Amobee business.

“This divestment reflects our resolve in executing to our strategic reset,” Singtel Group chief executive officer, Yuen Kuan Moon, said. “We are actively reshaping our portfolio to ensure optimal allocation of resources towards new growth drivers, as well as improve shareholder value.”

Completion of the Amobee divestment is expected by September 2022 and subject to sale conditions as well as regulatory approvals.

Nasdaq-listed Tremor International has a video-based platform for orchestrating digital advertising campaigns across the open Internet. The Amobee acquisition comes two-and-a-half years after Tremor acquired News Corp-owned adtech subsidiary, Unruly, reportedly for US$19 million plus $39m in revenue over a three-year period from exclusive video ad streaming deal between the two companies. It also comes a year after Tremor’s acquisition of global CTV ad server and media management platform, Spearad, for US$14.7 million.

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