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Vista-Backed Mediaocean Acquires Peer From Down Under

January 14, 2016

by Laura Cooper for Dow Jones

Vista Equity Partners -backed Mediaocean LLC acquired a majority stake in Australian peer BCC AdSystems, broadening the advertising software supplier's breadth to include markets in the Asia-Pacific region.

BCC AdSystems develops, supplies and supports software for the advertising, marketing and media industries. The company was founded in 1978 and has over 300 client installations in Asia and Australia.

For Bill Wise, Mediaocean's chief executive officer, the acquisition represents an entry point into 13 more markets, including Australia. He said the deal is Mediaocean's first since Vista acquired a majority stake in the company in the summer.

The Wall Street Journal reported in late June the deal valued Mediaocean at around $720 million. Vista invested in the New York company from Vista Equity Partners Fund V LP, which raised some $5.8 billion in 2014.

Mediaocean was formed in 2012 through the merger of ad-technology companies Donovan Data Systems Inc. and MediaBank LLC. Mr. Wise was at the helm of MediaBank and is now heads the combined company.

The New York company provides software that helps advertisers manage workflow processes such as analyzing and planning ad campaigns and billing.

Mr. Wise said Mediaocean decided to partner with Vista because it was enthusiastic to help the company further expand internationally. Mr. Wise said he and Bob Burns, BCC's founder and CEO, met about three years ago. After having a common client, the two reconnected and found that both companies were looking to expand in each other's respective markets.

"All of us got the request for proposal and said 'Is there an opportunity to create a global solution and does anyone have the chops to do it?'" Mr. Wise said. "I reached out to Bob, and he said that he was about to reach out to me. We knew together that we would be that solution."

Mr. Wise said that the companies worked quickly to close the deal-after initially having conversations in September and October. The two CEOs worked through the Christmas holiday with the goal of closing the deal on Jan. 1.

In addition to adding new markets-including Indonesia, China, Japan and Korea, among others-to its coverage area, Mediaocean expects that BCC's infrastructure will help the combined companies to enter 20 to 30 additional markets using its infrastructure.

Mediaocean isn't looking to slow down the pace of its expansion. Mr. Wise said the company is already looking at the next wave of investments which are likely to expand product capabilities more than geographical expansions.

Vista, which has offices in San Francisco, Chicago and Austin, Texas, typically invests $20 million to more than $700 million of equity capital in software and technology-enabled service providers.