Identity Of Xl Media's Acquisition Revealed (update)

Digital marketing firm pays up to $19 million for Israeli social gaming marketer ExciteAd Digital Marketing Ltd

A question puzzling a number of industry observers recently following an intriguing press release from digital performance marketing services firm XLMedia was answered in a follow up press release Monday.

The original release reported on an acquisition worth up to $19 million by XL Media… but did not identify the target.

Today, the company cleared up the mystery with a new release advising that the firm being acquired is social and mobile gaming marketing company ExciteAd Digital Marketing Ltd.

EDM trades under the name "DAU-UP" (www.dauup.com), and specialises in social and mobile advertising specifically targeted at ‘user acquisition' for social gaming applications.

Its principal geographical market is the US, in addition to other English and German speaking markets, and it provides marketing services primarily to game developers in social and mobile platforms for either a performance based fee, such as CPI or cost per installation, or a management fee based on marketing spend.

A spokesman for XLMedia says that EDM has an excellent track record of growth, reflecting the online expansion of the social and mobile gaming market.

For the 12 months ended , EDM, founded in 2010, delivered revenues of $12.8 million and profit before tax, excluding share based payments, of $3 million. The company is based in Israel and has a headcount of 27 people.

According to market specialists Technavio, the demand for social gaming is expected to see continued growth with an estimated CAGR of 24 percent in the US alone between 2012 and 2016, driven by the demand in the mobile and smartphone markets and the free availability of many of games.

XLMedia listed expansion and diversification as its core strategies when it launched its IPO in March this year, and says that the acquisition of EDM is a highly complementary fit with XLMedia's existing business, delivering a range of synergies and strategic benefits.

The acquisition will diversify the business into new products and markets, targeting a new customer base, as well as providing enhanced growth opportunities within existing markets.

Approximately 50 percent of EDM's revenues are generated through mobile users, who have also become a significant component in the online gambling industry, with an anticipated 44 percent share of the global interactive gambling market by 2018, according to market research provider H2 Gambling Capital (H2).

EDM's principal market is the US, with additional revenues derived from other English and German speaking markets as well as other countries outside of XLMedia's core Scandinavian markets, representing diversification for the Group into new geographical regions.

EDM uses its proprietary internal systems for both analysis of performance as well as for campaign definitions and building. Integrating these tools into XLMedia's own network will contribute to the Group's performance and improvement.

The acquisition will see XLMedia acquire the debt-free entire issued share capital of EDM from its current shareholders, led by current CEO and founder Idan Nizri, for a total consideration of up to US$19 million

XLMedia will pay US$12 million in cash immediately and two additional payments of up to an aggregate US$7 million will be payable based on EDM's EBITDA performance during the first and second years after , 71 percent of which may (at XLMedia's discretion) be satisfied by the issue of new ordinary shares in XLMedia.

Nizri will remain with EDM for a minimum period of two years and will be entitled to a seat on EDM's board of directors.

Ory Weihs, CEO of XLMedia said Monday that the EDM acquisition represents a complementary fit for XLMedia's business; is immediately earnings enhancing; strengthens its reach in the US; delivers diversification into social gaming; and extends the company's current gambling expertise and customer base.

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