Munich (Germany)/ New York (USA)/ Tokyo (Japan), 16 August 2011 – TOMORROW FOCUS AG has sold 35.86 percent of its stake in AdJug Ltd. to international media and advertising group Dentsu Inc, who is strengthening its New York-headquartered digital technology division IgnitionOne, giving it an 80 percent stake of AdJug. As a result, TOMORROW FOCUS AG’s stake in the London-based online marketing firm AdJug was reduced from 55.86 percent to 20 percent. AdJug’s founders, Michael Stephanblome and Satish Jayakumar, will continue to run the company. TOMORROW FOCUS and IgnitionOne will enable AdJug to aggressively expand its global footprint.
AdJug Ltd. operates two successful Internet advertising marketplaces in the UK and Germany and markets over three billion advertising spots from over 4,000 websites every month.
Following the majority takeover of AdJug Ltd. on 15 August 2011, there are plans to open several new international branch offices alongside existing locations in London (UK), Munich (Germany) and Bangalore (India). The aim is also to link AdJug’s product portfolio closely to that of the New York-headquartered digital marketing solutions company IgnitionOne, which offers product solutions in areas such as search and display campaigns, on-site optimisation and targeting.
TOMORROW FOCUS AG will continue to be represented on AdJug’s international five-strong board with one seat. This will be occupied by Christoph Schuh from the Management Board at TOMORRROW FOCUS AG.
There was also agreement on the further expansion of the existing partnership between AdJug Ltd. and TOMORROW FOCUS subsidiary TOMORROW FOCUS Media for unsold advertising inventory. As Germany’s second biggest ad network, TOMORROW FOCUS Media will continue to provide AdJug with unsold advertising inventory.
“Michael Stephanblome and Satish Jayakumar, have developed the company into a successful European advertising marketplace. Once AdJug reached profitability at the end of last year, our joint aim was to achieve further international growth as quickly as possible with the help of a strategic partner. IgnitionOne is the ideal partner for building AdJug into a global brand,” commented Christoph Schuh.
As to the company’s future prospects, Michael Stephanblome, co-founder and CEO of AdJug, noted: “We are very much looking forward to the next stage of expansion at AdJug and would like to thank our staff for their tremendous work in building up the company. By driving ahead with further internationalisation and combining our Dynamic Creative Technology (DCT) with Ignition One’s Audience Scoring Technology, we can create a real USP that will help us stand out from existing advertising marketplaces.”
“Our majority holding in AdJug represents a decisive step forward in our efforts to construct the best global marketing products for our customers. Our centralised digital marketing platform will now be able to expand massively into the European market,” said Will Margiloff, CEO at IgnitionOne.
For TOMORROW FOCUS AG, the deconsolidation of AdJug Ltd. creates a positive contribution to earnings. This amount will be calculated in greater detail as the year proceeds. The Group’s remaining shares in AdJug Ltd. are covered by an earn-out agreement that will provide a further boost to earnings provided that AdJug meets specified revenue and earnings targets. Beginning from 1 August 2001, the Group’s equity holding in AdJug Ltd. will be shown in the balance sheet using the at equity method. In the financial year 2010, AdJug Ltd. generated revenue of EUR 11.3 million. Looking ahead at 2011, it plans to increase revenue by approximately 50 percent.
The AdJug transaction was advised by The Jordan Edmiston Group, a specialized New York City based investment bank.
TOMORROW FOCUS AG is currently examining other potential equity acquisitions in the areas of advertising and e-commerce.
About TOMORROW FOCUS AG
TOMORROW FOCUS AG (ISIN DE005495329) is based in Munich, Germany, and is one of the leading exchange-listed Internet groups in Germany.
The Group has a workforce of around six hundred, and its business operations are divided into three divisions: Transactions, Advertising and Technologies:
The Transactions division includes HOLIDAYCHECK, the Group’s hotel rating and holiday/travel booking portal, ELITEPARTNER, a premium online dating portal, and JAMEDA.de, the physician recommendations portal.
The Advertising division includes TOMORROW FOCUS Media, one of the leading German online ad networks, which markets the ad inventory of premium portals on behalf of business partners in addition to those operated by the Group itself such as the news portal FOCUS Online and the stock market portal FINANZEN100.
The Technologies division includes CELLULAR GmbH, one of Germany’s leading full-service agencies for mobile platforms, and TFT GmbH, which provides technology and creative services for web-based IT solutions.
About AdJug Ltd.
AdJug Ltd., based in London (UK), Munich (Germany) and Bangalore (India), is the largest and longest-running transparent display ad exchange for premium unsold inventory in Europe and the UK. The AdJug exchange serves over 3 billion ad impressions to more than 67 million unique users per month. Currently the company has over 500 advertisers and relationships with more than 2,000 publishers and 4,000 sites worldwide. AdJug helps advertisers and agencies to achieve superior campaign performance. Its optimisation technology uses data aggregation to build dynamic re-targeting segments that find conversions across the ad exchange inventories.
In 2010 AdJug Ltd. generated revenue of EUR 10.8 million. Looking ahead at 2011, it plans to increase revenue by approximately 50 percent.
The company was formed in 2007 by Michael Stephanblome and Satish Jayakumar. TOMORROW FOCUS AG initially acquired a minority holding in 2008 before eventually raising its stake to 55.86 percent.
IgnitionOne is the world’s first closed-loop Digital Marketing Suite, offering multiple solutions to improve online performance within a single interface. Solutions include ad management and optimisation (search, display and Facebook), cross-channel attribution and on-site optimisation – all through a single, simple–to-implement website tag. The company was formed in 2011 by combining the online ad management platform SearchIgnite with audience profiling and on-site optimisation from Netmining.
Ignition One currently generates over USD 20 billion in revenue each year for some of the world’s leading online marketing customers, including General Motors, Chico’s, Ann Taylor, Fiat, and advertising agencies such as MRM Worldwide and CyberAgent.
For more information, please visit http://www.ignitionone.com or follow the company on Twitter @ignitionone.