Digital analytics specialist comScore is to buy film and TV measurement firm Rentrak in an all stock deal valued at around $732m. This acquisition, which will create a new giant in cross-platform measurement, is expected to close in early 2016.
In a statement, the firms said that by combining their products, talent and information assets, the new company will provide 'even more robust measurement solutions to the media and advertising industries, following the consumer whenever and wherever content is consumed'. comScore's digital audience and advertising solutions will be combined with Rentrak's census-based worldwide movie and video-on-demand measurement, and its passive TV measurement offerings, to provide a more complete picture of the way people consume media.
The Boards of directors of both companies have agreed that Rentrak will merge into a wholly-owned subsidiary of comScore, and each share of Rentrak will be converted into the right to receive 1.15 shares of comScore. Upon completion of the merger, comScore shareholders are expected to own approximately 66.5% and Rentrak shareholders approximately 33.5% of the combined company. In the past year, marcoms giant WPP acquired stakes in both ComScore and Rentrak, in a bid to address what it described as 'faulty measurement' of digital ad views and viewability. WPP will hold a 16% stake in the combined group, which it can expand up to 19.9%, but it will not be given a seat on the Board.
As part of the deal, comScore's current CEO Serge Matta will lead the combined company as Chief Executive Officer, Magid Abraham will remain as the Executive Chairman of the Board, and Bill Livek, Rentrak's current Vice Chairman & CEO, will serve as the company's Executive Vice Chairman & President. Mel Wesley will continue as the CFO, and David Chemerow, Rentrak's current COO & CFO, will serve as a strategic advisor to the CEO, focused on the integration of the two companies. The combined company's board will consist of twelve directors - eight from comScore and four from Rentrak.
Livek comments: 'Rentrak's expertise in precisely measuring TV and movies, and comScore's industry-leading digital measurement capabilities, are natural complements. Combined, our expertise and information assets will enable us to provide the industry with the most granular measurement solutions that reflect the ever-changing way that people are consuming content across platforms'.
Web sites: www.comscore.com and www.rentrak.com .