aQuantive Expands Into Europe

Seattle-based marketing technology provider aQuantive on Monday expanded its presence in Europe by acquiring U.K.-based performance-based media company, MediaBrokers, along with its sister firm TechnologyBrokers, the European reseller of aQuantive’s Atlas DMT technology.

The all-cash deal is valued at $3.2 million, with additional payments to follow based upon the profitability of the two businesses.

“As a company, aQuantive has been looking for opportunities to broaden our international appeal, so it makes perfect sense for us to bring in-house the company and resources that helped make our technology business a success in Europe,” said Brian McAndrews, president and CEO of aQuantive.

Atlas DMT’s Digital Marketing Suite is an integrated online marketing campaign management platform designed to help agencies and advertisers manage online media planning, buying, creative management, analysis and optimization. The company has recently added paid search management tools to the suite.

A technology consultancy for advertisers and agencies, TechnologyBrokers, which will be re-branded as Atlas Europe, has been the exclusive sales and customer service partner for Atlas DMT in Europe since 2002. Existing clients include European advertising agencies Agency Republic, Starcom Mediavest, Carat and mOne.

“Atlas DMT’s success in Europe has stemmed from having an experienced local partner who understands the market and who provides superior service and support for our clients,” said Ona Karasa, president of Atlas DMT. “TechnologyBrokers has a proven track record and we are certainly excited about having them under the Atlas brand.”

Both TechnologyBrokers and MediaBrokers are privately-held companies and are profitable, with combined revenues of approximately $5 million in 2003.

aQuantive expects these companies to contribute approximately $3 million in revenue and $300,000-$400,000 in EBITDA for the remainder of 2004, after certain one-time costs associated with takeover and integration. The acquisition is expected to be breakeven to slightly accretive in GAAP earnings per share this year.

TechnologyBrokers’ sister company, MediaBrokers, was founded in 2001, and like aQuantive’s U.S.-based DRIVEpm business, serves as a liaison between publishers and advertisers by selling ad inventory to advertisers on a targeted basis. MediaBrokers will continue to operate in the U.K., focusing on the European market.

In recent months, aQuantive has been on a bit of a buying spree, beginning with the acquisition of paid search management and optimization firm Go Toast in December 2003, which it relaunched in May as Atlas OnePoint in May 2004 . Then came the February acquisition of website usability company NetConversions, followed by interactive agency SBI.Razorfish in June.

“We feel we have a strong platform of businesses under the aQuantive umbrella now due to both our organic growth as a company over the past few years, as well as our strategic acquisitions in both our services and technology business units,” said aQuantive spokesperson Angela Gamba.

But Gamba doesn’t rule out the possibility of future international expansion. “Atlas DMT will continue to explore other International markets as it makes sense for the business,” she said. “aQuantive’s agency businesses, Avenue A/Razorfish and i-FRONTIER, are currently only U.S.-based, so the services side of our business is another area where we may look to expand Internationally.”

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