Branching Out, Akamai Acquires Ad Targeter Acerno For $95 Million

Content delivery network Akamai, looking to build up its “data insight business,” has bought ad targeter acerno for $95 million in cash. The deal is expected to close this quarter and is subject to certain closing adjustments. The purchase of acerno comes as Cambridge, Mass.-based Akamai (NSDQ: AKAM) is attempting to branch out from its primary CDN business. In conjunction with the acquisition of acerno, Akamai is announcing the creation of its Advertising Decision Solutions group, which will supply online marketers with audience data. Acerno offers targeting tools based on consumers’ online shopping decisions. Given the current regulatory climate, acerno emphasizes that its data collection is strictly “anonymous.” Akamai and three-year-old acerno, which has offices in New York and San Francisco, had been working together recently before deciding to merge.
I spoke with Tolman Geffs, a managing director for The Jordan, Edmiston Group (and the banker on this deal) about the acquisition coming amid continued turbulence in the financial markets and greater economic uncertainty in general. Geffs: “The sun will continue to rise every morning and companies will continue to make mid-size acquisitions. Given the current economic conditions, larger deals will be harder to come by, as the uncertainty in the market creates more financial risk. But you still see significant acquisitions happening, including WPP Group’s recent purchase of TNS and eBay’s acquisition of Bill Me Later, to name just two.” Release
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