Ascential plc (LON:ASCL), the specialist, global information company, today announced 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.”