24/7 Media Buys Sabela Media, IMAKE For $75 Million Each

Advertising and marketing firm 24/7 Media on Monday acquired Sabela Media, an ad serving firm with roots in Australia, and IMAKE, which makes technology for broadband ad serving, in all-stock deals valued at $75 million each.

The deals are aimed at boosting 24/7’s technological and international expertise, giving it a jump start both with its 24/7 Connect ad serving technology, and with its efforts to expand around the world.

“We believe we have seized technology leadership in the global ad serving space,” says David Moore, chief executive officer of 24/7 Media.

Sabela Media, which is Australia’s leading ad serving company, provides services which combine the delivery of advertising with analytical capabilities. The company also brings 24/7 new international points of presence, since it maintains offices in Australia and Canada.

IMAKE’s flagship product, called e.merge, enables companies to manage marketing campaigns over a variety of platforms. IMAKE and 24/7 worked together to develop the 24/7 Connect ad serving system, and the combination of the two technologies will allow for the delivery of campaigns across Web sites, email, electronic programming guides, wireless, set top boxes and other information appliances via one interface.

24/7 plans to integrate all of the technologies together in a bid to challenge market leader DoubleClick and its DART ad serving system.

The company has criticized DoubleClick’s DART technology as a first-generation system that doesn’t scale well and needs constant tweaking. Although 24/7 has often been seen as an also-ran in the sector, these deals give 24/7 added heft, and perhaps, an added ability to compete.

Ironically, 24/7 is also buying itself into a lawsuit filed by DoubleClick against Sabela. The company alleges that Sabela violated its ad serving patent. But 24/7 professes not to be concerned about the ongoing litigation.

“If we thought it was an issue,” says Moore, “we wouldn’t have bought the company.”

The companies are expected to add about $15 million to 24/7’s revenue figures in 2000.

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