Federated Media announced that it has sold its brand and content marketing business to LIN Digital Media. Federated's programmatic media and publisher platform business, which was built through its Lijit Networks acquisition back in 2011, will serve as an independent entity under the name sovrn Holdings, Inc.
Federated Media Founder, Executive Chairman and CEO John Battelle will go to sovrn, which will be headquartered in Colorado, to remain Executive Chairman. He only resumed his CEO role at Federated last year.
Battelle writes on his blog:
When I returned as FM’s CEO in early 2013 after a two-year absence, it was my job to assess where we stood, and how we could most successfully invest our resources. At the time, FM had two distinct business lines: Its pioneering content marketing practice, and its burgeoning programmatic exchange. As readers of this site know well, I’m bullish on both. I love our legacy as one of the creators of modern content marketing and defender of premium independent publishing, and I’m extremely proud of our massive exchange, which is growing like crazy (more than 90% topline growth y/y, and profitable). Both businesses have strong partners, strong people, and great futures.
So why split them up? Well, the truth is LIN Media offered us a deal that just made sense. LIN, a public company, is focused on building a world-class digital media offering, and has the resources and people that can take Federated’s business to the next level. It’s incredibly important to me personally that something I was instrumental in building finds a home that respects and appreciates its history, while at the same time desiring to invest in its future. That’s exactly what LIN is committed to doing. Now that it is part of LIN, the Federated Media brand can grow faster – and that means more revenue and opportunities for the partners who have made FM what it is.
Walter Knapp (pictured), former COO of Federated Media and Lijit, has been appointed as the new CEO of sovrn.
“As the new CEO of sovrn, it's my mission to make sure that we are insanely focused on providing the tools, resources and services that enable independent and influential publishers to succeed,” he said. “The proceeds from this sale will allow us to lean heavily into our platform-based programmatic ad services and to roll-out an expanded set of offerings to engage audiences and drive monetization.”
No word on the sale price.
Image via BusinessWire