NEWS11 January 2021

Comscore secures strategic investment

Financials Media News North America

US – Media measurement business Comscore has agreed to investments from broadband and cable company Charter Communications, media conglomerate Qurate Retail Group and an affiliate of investment firm Cerberus Capital Management.

The three companies will each make a cash investment in exchange for shares of convertible preferred stock, equating to a total of $204m. Comscore will use the proceeds from the investment to pay off its existing debt.

Charter, Qurate and Cerberus will each receive approximately 27.5 million shares of stock in the deal.

Alongside the investment, Comscore will enter into a 10-year data licence agreement with Charter, obtaining access to its deidentified and aggregated data sources and rights. Charter offers broadband and cable services through its Spectrum brand.

As part of the agreement, Charter will treat Comscore as its preferred local measurement partner.

Through the deal, Comscore plans to work with Charter to drive a ‘new industry standard in media measurement’, the company said in a press release. The deal will increase the amount of media measurement data for local markets and viewership measurement for smaller and independent networks, according to Comscore.

The investment will allow Comscore to pay off its convertible debt held by hedge fund Starboard. Following the completion of the transaction, Comscore will continue to operate as a standalone public company.

Additionally, Comcast Cable Communications, subsidiary of Comcast Corporation, will extend its current data deal with Comscore.

Bill Livek, chief executive officer at Comscore (pictured), described the investment as a "watershed moment" for the company.

Livek said: "The retirement of debt provides the company with the financial flexibility to execute our plan. The investment and commercial agreements will supercharge our ability to deliver trusted cross-platform measurement for all customers. We are built to deliver now."

David Kline, executive vice-president, Charter and president, Spectrum Reach, said: "Our investment in Comscore will further enhance the television industry and Spectrum Reach’s ability to provide marketers and advertisers with effective and measurable data-driven solutions."

Matt Zames, president of Cerberus, added: "We look forward to partnering with the Comscore management team, Charter and Qurate to build on Comscore's next phase of transformation and growth."

@RESEARCH LIVE

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