24/7 Media Acquires Real Media in $1.9M Stock Deal

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Ad-serving network 24/7 Media Inc. acquired rival ad network Real Media Inc. after the market closed yesterday in a stock deal worth more than $1.9 million.


Shareholders of Real Media stock will be issued 8.3 million shares of 24/7 Media stock, which closed yesterday at 23 cents per share. Swiss media firm PubliGroupe, a majority owner of Real Media, will own about 20 percent of the new company.


PubliGroupe's shares trade on the Swiss Stock Exchange. Its shares closed yesterday at 249.25 Swiss francs, down 10.75.


The combined company will be led by David Moore, 24/7 Media's CEO, who will retain that position. Tony Plesner, 24/7 Media's chief operating officer, will hold the same position in the new company. Real Media CEO Walter Annasohn will leave the company. His plans were not disclosed.


"This sets us up as the clear No. 2 company in this space," Plesner said. "It'll be a business built around two distinct areas: media and technology."


Mark Naples, Real Media's vice president of marketing, said the combined company will most likely be known as 24/7 Real Media in the United States. In Europe, he said, both companies will retain their separate corporate identities.


"With this deal we become a full-service, truly global company," he said. "It's really a coming together of equals."


PubliGroupe will provide additional financing for the combined company and assist in 24/7 Media's restructuring. The company agreed to advance 24/7 Media $7.5 million in financing, which will be paid back in three installments, Plesner said. The largest payment will be made upfront, he said.


There is minimal overlap in the two companies' customer bases, and Real Media expects to have to fire less than 10 percent of its work force. The company has about 350 employees.


Plesner said 24/7 Media "does not expect significant layoffs." He would not be more specific.


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