24/7 Real Media Sold To WPP Group

    May 17, 2007

Google got DoubleClick.  Yahoo spent $680 million on Right Media.  And Microsoft failed – that’s right, failed – to acquire 24/7 Real Media (as well as DoubleClick), an online marketing company.  WPP Group, a London-based communications services entity, snatched it up instead.

A press release issued by 24/7 Real Media put the purchase price at “approximately $649 million.”  Wouldn’t it be nice to round off to the nearest millionth dollar?  David J. Moore, chairman and CEO of the company, indicated that he realizes just how beneficial the acquisition may be.

“This deal provides a great value to all 24/7 Real Media shareholders,” he stated.  “Additionally, the transaction further validates the importance of emerging, digital media to the global advertising market and 24/7 Real Media’s role in strengthening the role of digital media among WPP companies.”

The strategy director of WPP and CEO of WPP Digital, Mark Read, saw things in a similar light, saying, “The digital marketplace is developing very rapidly.  24/7 Real Media brings to WPP very strong capabilities and technological skills in digital media and marketing.”

WPP is, according to some, rather old-fashioned, so it really should benefit from dealing with a company that was also sought by a (relatively) cutting-edge contender like Microsoft.  And don’t forget, Google and Yahoo have been fishing around in the same market.

The deal between 24/7 Real Media and WPP Group seems to, in fact, benefit just about everyone except Microsoft.  As reported by Reuters, “Analysts at Numis said the deal would strengthen WPP’s exposure to digital marketing services and while they estimated a 1 percent dilution from the deal, they said the longer-term growth potential would be improved.”