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Mediaocean to Sell Stake to Vista Equity Partners

June 28, 2015

This article from the Wall Street Journal covers our recent deal with Vista Equity Partners.

by Gillian Tan, Wall Street Journal

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Mediaocean, a software supplier to advertising agencies, has agreed to sell a majority stake to Vista Equity Partners in a deal that values the company at roughly $720 million.

The New York-based company provides software to help advertising firms manage tasks from planning and analyzing advertising campaigns to billing. Mediaocean’s software processed $108 billion of ad spending in 2014, including for television, print, out-of-home, radio and digital, Bill Wise, the company’s chief executive, said in an interview.

Mediaocean was formed in 2012 through the merger of rival ad-technology companies Donovan Data Systems Inc. and MediaBank LLC, which were led by Michael Donovan and Mr. Wise, respectively. Messrs. Donovan and Wise will retain stakes of around 17.5% and 2.5% respectively, following the deal with Vista, Mr. Wise said.

Vista, a private-equity firm that focuses on investments in software, data and technology-based companies, last year raised some $5.8 billion for its latest fund.

Mr. Wise agreed to meet Vista’s co-founder and President Brian Sheth and after exploring other options including an initial public offering, agreed to a deal, he said.

“We see Vista more as a holding company for software companies than a private-equity firm,” said Mr. Wise. He and Vista’s Mr. Sheth say advice from Vista and this investment will help Mediaocean consolidate its traditional and digital products, develop new products and enter new markets.

“While traditional media is inherently local, digital media is global. It took Mediaocean four decades to enter six markets but I believe it’ll take us four years to enter the next 60,” Mr. Wise said.

The company competes in some areas against Google Inc.’s ad-serving arm DoubleClick, Facebook Inc.’s ad-serving and management unit Atlas and Comcast Corp.’s media software maker Strata Marketing Inc., he said. Its offshore competitors include Australia’s BCC AdSystems and France’s MBS.

Mediaocean has struck a number of partnerships and last month joined forces with analytics firm Moat in a deal designed to enable advertisers to purchase only ad inventory that has been determined to be actually viewable on a Web page.