NEWS17 September 2015

News Corp buys Unruly in £100m+ deal

M&A News UK

UK — Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp has acquired social video ad platform Unruly in a deal worth more than £100 million.


In the first deal announced since Rebekah Brooks took over as chief executive of News UK, the deal will see Unruly operate as a separate business unit reporting into her.

Unruly will continue to work with its existing roster of global advertisers and publishers and collaborate with News Corp businesses around the world.

The purchase consists of a cash payment of £58m, and up to £56m in future dependent on certain performance objectives. The acquisition is expected to be completed by the end of September.

Unruly was founded in 2006 and has pioneered tracking video sharing and delivering verifiable video views via paid media across mobile, desktop and tablet devices. With its two trillion video view data set, it uses historical sharing behaviour to predict the potential for video ads to go viral across all digital touch points.

Robert Thomson, chief executive of News Corp, said: “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. The acquisition will serve as a catalyst for our brands, helping to extend our expertise in the digital and mobile video area. It complements our traditional editorial and commercial expertise with contemporary insight into how people read, watch, buy and sell in the digital era.”

Unruly was founded by Matt Cooke, Scott Button and Sarah Wood (pictured, left to right); it employs 200 people in 15 offices with regional hubs in London, New York and Singapore. Its headquarters will remain in Shoreditch, London.