Ascential plc

07/22/2019 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 07/22/2019 01:48

Strategic investment in Jumpshot Inc

THE INFORMATION CONTAINED WITHIN THIS ANNOUNCEMENT IS DEEMED TO CONSTITUTE INSIDE INFORMATION FOR THE PURPOSES OF THE MARKET ABUSE REGULATIONS

22 July 2019

Ascential plc

Strategic investment in Jumpshot Inc

London: Ascential plc(LSE: ASCL.L), the specialist, global information company, today announces that it has agreed to acquire an initial 35% ownership interest in Jumpshot Inc, the marketing analytics subsidiary of Avast plc, a leading global cybersecurity provider. Subject to certain conditions, and no sooner than January 2021, Ascential also has an option to take a majority ownership position in Jumpshot.

Jumpshot specialises in marketing analytics, providing insights about broad online consumer behaviour to brands and ecommerce and other partners. The transaction creates a strategic partnership, intended to capture product and market synergies. Ascential's expansive customer base and global footprint will provide a valuable platform for Jumpshot's future growth while Jumpshot's unique products will allow Ascential, through Edge by Ascential, to develop valuable new products for its customers.

Jumpshot was founded in 2015 and is headquartered in San Francisco with offices in the Czech Republic, New York and London. Deren Baker, CEO of Jumpshot, will continue to lead the company. The gross assets of Jumpshot at 31 December 2018 were $12.5m. For 2018, Jumpshot's net loss before tax was $4.6m.

The consideration for 35% of the existing share capital amounts to $60.8m on a debt free and cash free basis, to be paid in cash on closing. The remaining 65% of Jumpshot shares will continue to be held by its current shareholders (Avast and employees of Jumpshot). Closing is conditional on receipt of approval from German antitrust authorities, the entry by Ascential, Jumpshot and Avast into a shareholders' agreement relating to Jumpshot, and the entry by Jumpshot and Ascential into a data license agreement. The Shareholders' Agreement will grant a put and call option in relation to an additional 16% of Jumpshot's fully diluted share capital, which is exercisable by Ascential or Avast upon certain performance criteria being satisfied but no earlier than January 2021. The total consideration payable by Ascential for the two tranches will not exceed £300m. Closing is currently expected to occur on or around 31 August 2019.

Duncan Painter, Chief Executive Officer, Ascential plc, commented:

'Jumpshot is a good fit for Ascential and supports our goal to help the world's most ambitious businesses win in the digital economy. Jumpshot takes existing insights and measurement platforms to the next level by connecting behaviours across any site, including walled gardens, providing brands with deep insight into consumers' paths to purchase in the digital economy. Having exclusive access to Jumpshot products is expected to accelerate sales for Edge by Ascential and allow Ascential to build unique products for our customers to drive their success in digital commerce.'

Contacts

Ascential plc

Duncan Painter

Chief Executive Officer

+44 (0)20 7516 5000

Mandy Gradden

Chief Financial Officer

Media enquiries

Edward Bridges

FTI Consulting LLP

+44 (0)20 3727 1000

Matt Dixon

Jamie Ricketts

About Ascential plc:

Ascential is a specialist,global, information company that helps the world's most ambitious businesses win in the digital economy. Our information, insights, connections, data and digital tools solve customer problems in three principal disciplines:

· Product Designvia global trend forecasting service WGSN;· Marketingvia global benchmark for creative excellence and effectiveness Cannes Lionsand WARC, and strategic advisory firm MediaLink; and

· Salesvia ecommerce-driven data, insights and advisory firm Edge by Ascential, leading managed services provider for Amazon, Flywheel Digital, the world's premier payments and FinTech congress Money20/20, global retail industry summit World Retail Congress and Retail Week.

Ascential also powers political, construction and environmental intelligence brands DeHavilland, Glenigan and Groundsure - together comprising the Built Environment and Policy segment.

About Jumpshot Inc:

Jumpshot delivers digital intelligence from within the internet's most valuable walled gardens. The company's real-time, anonymized global panel tracks five billion actions a day across tens of millions of devices to deliver insights into online consumer behavior. Jumpshot works with customers including Revlon, Microsoft, Google, Yelp, Condé Nast and TripAdvisor , among others. Learn more about Jumpshot at www.jumpshot.com.

About Avast plc:

Avast (LSE:AVST) is a global leader in digital security products. With over 400 million users online, Avast offers products under the Avast and AVG brands that protect people from threats on the internet and the evolving IoT threat landscape. The company's threat detection network is among the most advanced in the world, using machine learning and artificial intelligence technologies to detect and stop threats in real time. Avast digital security products for Mobile, PC or Mac are top-ranked and certified by VB100, AV-Comparatives, AV-Test, OPSWAT, West Coast Labs and others. Visit: www.avast.com.