News Corp to Acquire Social Video Ad Platform Unruly for up to $176 Million

Lachlan Murdoch, Rebekah Brooks, Sarah Wood & Unruly staff member - H 2015
Courtesy of Unruly

The business will be reporting to Rebekah Brooks, CEO of News UK.

Rupert Murdoch's News Corp will acquire social video advertising platform Unruly for up to $176 million, the company said Wednesday.

“Unruly is a feisty and creative company with a start-up sensibility that fits perfectly with our own approach to developing businesses in the digital age," said News Corp CEO Robert Thomson.

"The acquisition will serve as a catalyst for our brands, helping to extend our expertise in the digital and mobile video area, whether through the fast-growing in the US, Fox Sports in Australia, News America Marketing, HarperCollins Publishers, or our market-leading mastheads around the world," he added. "Unruly complements our traditional editorial and commercial expertise with contemporary insight into how people read, watch, buy and sell in the digital era."

Led by Unruly’s three co-founders, the business will operate as a separate business unit, reporting to Rebekah Brooks, CEO of News UK.

“We have always been pioneers in our field, so combining the formidable reach and resonance of our titles with their cutting-edge technology and video expertise will help accelerate our growth in this digital age,” said Brooks. “We look forward to working with one of Europe’s most highly regarded tech teams to create new premium video inventory for our News UK mastheads and other businesses, and to provide advertisers with best-in-class brand solutions across all platforms."

The purchase price for the acquisition consists of a cash payment at closing of about $90 million (£58 million), subject to certain adjustments, and up to $86 million (£56 million) in "future consideration primarily related to payments contingent upon the achievement of certain performance objectives."

The transaction is subject to customary closing conditions and is expected to be completed by the end of September.

Unruly employs 200 people in 15 offices. Its primary base is Shoreditch in East London with further regional hubs in New York and Singapore. 

“We are incredibly grateful for the passion and dedication of the whole Unruly team that has today resulted in this phenomenal opportunity for the business,” said Unruly co-founder and co-CEO Sarah Wood. “Unruly’s enthusiasm for transforming video advertising and our agile development culture will continue to drive our innovative approach towards digital marketing as we help advertisers reconnect with consumers and future-proof their video strategy.”