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Cannes Lions organiser Ascential acquires MediaLink

Cannes Lions organiser Ascential acquires MediaLink

Ascential plc, the organiser of Cannes Lions, has announced it has agreed to acquire 100% of media advisory and business services provider MediaLink in a deal worth up to $207m.

MediaLink founder Michael Kassan
MediaLink founder Michael Kassan

MediaLink will form part of the UK-based B2B media company’s Information Services division. The two companies have worked together since 2011, but, following the closure of the deal, will be run independently.

“MediaLink is a leader in its industry, with a strong and very visible brand presence in the US,” said Ascential chief executive officer Duncan Painter.

“MediaLink is an excellent fit with our existing Ascential offering and I am confident we can help accelerate MediaLink’s business into new markets by using our assets and infrastructure over the coming months and years.

“I see synergies between MediaLink and our portfolio of products to significantly help accelerate our existing businesses and create additional value for shareholders.”

The acquisition comes as part of Ascential’s ongoing strategy to own market-leading brands in complementary marketplaces and offer trusted information and valuable connections to businesses.

“This is a transformational moment for MediaLink,” added Kassan. “Propelled by the global footprint of Ascential and the combined resources and talent of our organisations, we are going to write the most remarkable chapter in MediaLink history. We look forward to working closely with Ascential to create growth and new opportunities.”

The initial consideration will be funded from Ascential’s cash reserves and existing borrowing facilities, with future earn outs payable until February 2021 based on the adjusted EBITDA of the business for the three years 2017 to 2019, expected to total between $42m and $62m. The transaction is expected to complete, subject to US regulatory clearance, within the next month.

Twelve months ago, Ascential floated 35% of its business for $1.16bn, with company shares valued at $2.91 per share.