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Ooh Media buys Junkee Media in surprise move

Youth-oriented publisher Junkee Media has been bought by listed outdoor media company Ooh Media in a surprise move.

Junkee Media

The agreement, released to the Australian Securities Exchange today (ASX:OML) has bought 85% of the company for $11.05m. Junkee Media publishes titles including Junkee, In The Mix, Faster Louder and Qantas-backed entity Awol.

The remaining 15% will remain with Junkee’s existing shareholders.

In the release, Ooh says the acquisition is part of its “end to end” digital strategy, with the company making a significant investment in digital outdoor signage in recent years.

Junkee Media will be maintained as a stand-alone enterprise with its existing management team including CEO Neil Ackland, publisher Tim Duggan, Junkee Studio general manager Josh Rich and CIO Ian Grant remaining in place.

Duggan:

Duggan: remaining as publisher of Junkee Media

Ooh already owns youth culture website Hijacked.com.au and small business website Shortpress.com.au.

CEO Brendon Cook said the company has been acquiring assets that not only provide advertisers with more targeted audiences but also builds on its content capabilities as part of its digital and data strategy.

Brendon Cook CEO Ooh Media at Mumbrella 360 2014.

Brendon Cook, CEO Ooh Media at Mumbrella 360 in 2014

“We started this journey with the launch of content platform Q-view and we later added Hijacked.com.au and Shortpress.com.au to deliver advertisers a 360-degree offline and online marketing channel to reach specific audiences,” he said in a statement.

“These content platforms have generated new revenue from advertisers, in categories including telco, B2B, travel, tourism and government, who have invested in campaigns that combined out of home advertising with native content running across the social, online and mobile platforms.

“The acquisition of Junkee Media was the natural next step for Ooh as it is a clear market leader and has set the benchmark for native content engagement in a mobile and social world.

“Junkee Media has superior online real estate, a track-record in connecting with the desirable millennial audience, and is among the best in the business when it comes to developing native content that works, and has proven its ability to amplify advertiser’s messages through social channels.

“With the rapid growth of short-form social mobile video content and Junkee Media’s clear expertise in delivering this content, we are excited about the possibilities of delivering the best content across our market-leading digital signage network in environments designed to engage with audiences.”

Ooh debuted on the ASX at $1.80 in December 2014 after being floated by Champ Private Equity. The stock has enjoyed a stellar rise alongside other outdoor firms and was trading at $4.93 at 3:30pm today.

Junkee Media CEO, Neil Ackland, said in a statement: “We are very excited to become part of Ooh, a company that clearly shares our ambition to be at the forefront of digital innovation and content. The media landscape is changing at an incredible pace, and together we are uniquely positioned to benefit from the disruption.”

As part of the transaction, Ooh has elected to maintain the advisory agreement in place between Junkee Media and Tony Faure, a director of Ooh Media, making him a board member of both companies. Faure will provide advisory and strategic assistance to Junkee Media and on particular initiatives and campaigns.

Tony Faure is a consultant to Focal Attractions, the parent company of Mumbrella.

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