Orange to acquire Unanimis – The UK’s largest exclusive digital advertising network.
Combined ad sales network will create an unparalleled reach of over 70% of internet users in the UK, extending to over 66% reach cumulated across UK, France, Spain and Poland.
The Orange France Telecom Group is announcing today that it has acquired 100% of Unanimis, the UK’s largest exclusive digital advertising network. Through the combination of Unanimis’s premium advertising network and Orange’s mobile and web assets, advertisers, buyers and media agencies will be able to reach over 71.5% of the UK’s online population and over 66% of the online population across UK, France, Spain and Poland.
Unanimis has exclusive online advertising relationships with key website brands such as the AA, Ticketmaster, ASOS, Gumtree and Shopping.com giving it the most extensive, exclusive-access, digital advertising portfolio in the UK. The acquisition will put Orange and Unanimis at the forefront of digital and mobile advertising in the UK with unparalleled scale and reach across web, mobile and interactive media.
Together, Orange and Unanimis will have particular strength in the area of online advertising, which is the fastest growing advertising segment in UK and is expected to account for 27% of total advertising spend in the UK in 2011, up from 19% in 2007. The Western European online advertising market was worth an estimated 12 billion euros in 2008 and the UK represented Europe’s largest market (31%). Orange and Unanimis will also have strong positions in new growth areas such as mobile advertising.
“With the acquisition of Unanimis, Orange now has strong footholds in two of Europe’s three main digital advertising markets – France and the UK – which provide outstanding opportunities to pan-European advertisers and agencies while enabling us to accelerate our plans for growth from the mobile and online environment,” said Paul Francois Fournier, Executive Vice President, Orange Advertising. “Our combined strengths will help us to achieve the Group’s overall ambition to drive revenues from 9% to 20% in new growth areas, of which advertising is a key strand.”
“Unanimis brings with it knowledge and expertise in performance-related advertising, one of the fastest growing segments of the market. Through their established network, we will also be able to maximise our own assets and, importantly, offer advertisers new ways to reach audiences through our web and mobile portals. Unanimis are a talented group which we are delighted to welcome to the Orange France Telecom family,” added Paul Francois Fournier.
Damon Reeve, CEO and co-founder of Unanimis, said, “The combination of Orange’s assets with our renowned digital advertising expertise will appeal to a broad spectrum of advertisers, marketers and publishers. Technologically and culturally, we share much in common and we are very excited by the prospects we see ahead, not only for the web advertising opportunities but also for the, thus untapped, mobile proposition.”
“As 2008 marked the revolution in the mobile internet space, so 2009 will see the major advances in digital and mobile advertising. The Orange mobile portal, Orange World, and our fixed portal attracts over 12 million monthly users and with the advances in handset technology coupled with new prices plans, this is set to rise even further. More companies are increasingly turning to the mobile internet to enhance the way they advertise. A key part of our strategy at Orange UK is to grow and evolve our business in order to offer advertisers richer opportunities to engage with people. Combining the marketing opportunities offered through our mobile and web portal with the impressive inventory and sales expertise of Unanimis will give us huge strength and allow us to help advertisers reach audiences in new and exciting ways,” concluded Gerry McQuade, Chief Development Officer, Orange UK.
Unanimis will continue to operate under its brand name and will become part of the Orange Group Advertising Network, which offers advertisers and publishers an opportunity to reach new audiences by leveraging Orange’s multi-screen assets across the PC, mobile and TV platforms.
Regent Partners LLP acted as exclusive Corporate Finance advisor to Orange.