Criteo Enters Negotiations to Acquire Adtech Platform

Jacqueline Barba
Digital Editor
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criteo IPONWEB

Advertising tech company Criteo has entered exclusive negotiations to acquire Iponweb, an adtech company with media trading capabilities, for $380 million in a combination of cash and Criteo treasury shares. With this acquisition, Criteo accelerates its strategic plans to influence the future of commerce media and deliver the best commerce audiences at scale to both marketers and media owners across the open internet.

Criteo's Commerce Media Platform is designed to provide marketers and media owners direct access to commerce audiences across the internet. By connecting marketer and media owner first-party data across its network, Criteo powers audience-first advertising solutions throughout the supply chain to help brands seeking to drive household preference via CTV campaigns, advertise their consumer product on retailer websites and mobile apps, or acquire retail-direct customers.

For more than 20 years, Iponweb's technology has helped power an “open and diverse" advertising ecosystem, per a recent media release, building enterprise solutions for media owners, agencies and marketers, and providing media trading infrastructure for the adtech industry for marketers and media owners in the process.

With this planned acquisition, Criteo aims to accelerate its Commerce Media Platform vision and offer better control to its enterprise marketers (and their agency partners) by leveraging Iponweb’s demand-side platform (DSP) and supply side platform (SSP) solutions. The acquisition also expands media owner monetization opportunities and provides services for first-party data management across the ecosystem. Together, Iponweb, and Criteo aims to distinguish itself as “the commerce media partner of choice for the post third-party cookie and identifier world,” per the release.

"Joining forces with Iponweb turbocharges the execution of Criteo's Commerce Media Platform strategy," said Megan Clarken, CEO of Criteo, in the release. "This is a defining moment in Criteo's transformation to drive sustainable growth and revenue diversification, creating value for all stakeholders from day one. Criteo's customers would benefit from enhanced full-funnel capabilities with even more flexible self-service tools, while continuing to leverage Criteo's unique commerce data for targeting, measurement and superior outcomes."

Both companies are global with European roots and are grounded in privacy-focused, sophisticated datasets and artificial intelligence.

With Iponweb's large media trading marketplace, DSP and SSP; Criteo hopes to bring media owners a much larger scale of media spend and first-party data access, a critical component of its product strategy.

Accessing more first-party data from media owners and being able to marry their first-party data assets with that of marketers would allow superior activation, interoperability and measurement of first-party data within Criteo's commerce ecosystem – making Criteo's commerce audiences more universally accessible to a broader range of media buyers. This would allow Criteo to drive the best performing commerce audiences at scale without any third-party identifiers – whether cookies or the Identifier for Advertisers (IDFA).

In addition, the two companies have high-hopes of their combined capabilities, including:

  • BidCore, Iponweb's customizable self-service DSP, would expand the breadth of Criteo's full-funnel marketing offering, in particular for mid- and upper-funnel advertising campaigns, including on video and CTV, and boost the expansion of its Retail Media business.
  • BidSwitch, Iponweb's media trading marketplace connecting 130 demand and nearly 150 supply partners, combined with Criteo, would broaden the distribution of commerce audiences on the open internet, making first-party data activation, interoperability and measurement more seamless in the post third-party cookie world.
  • The MediaGrid, Iponweb's advanced SSP enabling curated inventory, would enable Criteo to significantly expand its direct publisher footprint and enhance its first-party data distribution and activation potential.

The $380 million purchase price is expected to be funded through $305 million paid in cash and $75 million paid in CRTO treasury shares. At closing, Criteo would be paying approximately 20% of the acquisition price in treasury shares.

The transaction is expected to close in the first quarter of 2022, subject to regulatory approvals and consultation of Criteo's French Works Council.

Evercore is acting as financial advisor and Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom and Baker McKenzie are serving as legal counsels to Criteo for the planned transaction. FieldFisher is serving as legal counsel to Iponweb.

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