Norway-based Telenor Group has agreed to acquire 95% of ad tech start-up Tapad for $360m, to increase the group’s digital marketing and analytics competences.
The price will cover 95% of the company on a debt and cash-free basis, with founders Are Traasdahl and Dag Liodden retaining the last 5%. The deal is expected to close in Q1.
Cross-device advertising and content delivery specialist Tapad was formed in 2010 and is currently part owned by WPP and several other companies, with Traasdahl’s company Spring Capital owning 46.5%.
“We are thrilled to join the Telenor family. With more than 200 million mobile subscribers in 13 markets, Telenor is one of the largest and most successful telecom companies globally,” Traasdahl said.
“I am excited by what this acquisition means for our employees, our partners and our continued growth. This will accelerate our vision to become the worlds’ leading provider of unified digital marketing solutions.”
Telenor has previously taken positions within new digital business areas such as Internet of Things, online classifieds and financial services, with this latest deal set to strengthen its data analytics capabilities.
Tapad will continue to operate as a standalone company, with current chief executive officer Traasdahl, who previously sold music startup Thumbplay to Clear Channel and chief technology officer Liodden maintaining their positions.