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comScore and Rentrak to merge, create cross-platform measurement company

MUMBAI: comScore Inc and Rentrak Corporation have announced that the companies have entered into a definitive merger agreement under which the companies will combine in a stock-for-stock merger.

Pursuant to the terms of the merger, Rentrak will merge into a wholly-owned subsidiary of comScore. Each share of Rentrak will be converted into the right to receive 1.15 shares of comScore.

Upon completion of the merger, comScore shareholders are expected to own approximately 66.5 per cent and Rentrak shareholders the balance 33.5 per cent of the combined company on a fully diluted basis.

An official statement mentions that the combination of the measurement leaders will pave the way for new cross-platform ratings currency thus expanding the choice for television and advertising industries.

comScore’s current CEO Serge Matta, will lead the combined company as CEO, while Dr Magid Abraham will remain as the executive chairman of the Board.

Matta said, “The merger of comScore and Rentrak represents an exciting milestone for our combined clients, uniquely skilled employees and shareholders. Together we have an even more powerful ability to deliver what our clients and the media industry have long been asking for: a comprehensive cross-platform measurement currency that accounts for all the ways in which content is consumed, whether that happens on a desktop, mobile device, live or time-shifted TV, video on demand or through over-the-top devices.”

Abraham added, “Bill Livek and his team have built a cutting-edge media measurement company that has moved our industry forward in many ways, and we could not be more excited to welcome them to the comScore family. We look forward to working with Bill and his team as we bring our companies together to create the most comprehensive set of measurement solutions available, delivering on our mission of making audiences and advertising more valuable.”

Rentrak’s current vice-chairman and CEO Bill Livek will serve as the company’s executive vice-chairman and president. Mel Wesley will continue as the CFO and Rentrak’s current COO and CFO David Chemerow will serve as a strategic advisor to the CEO, focused on the successful integration of the two companies.

“The new company will also draw upon the collective talent at both companies to harness the experience and expertise of each organization to redefine the future of measurement. The combined company’s board will consist of twelve directors, eight from comScore and four from Rentrak,” the statement mentioned.

By combining comScore and Rentrak’s products, talent and information assets, the new company will provide measurement solutions to the media and advertising industries, following the consumer whenever and wherever content is consumed.

The combination will enable the company to introduce a comprehensive set of solutions for measuring media consumption and advertising across platforms, setting the standard for the next generation of cross-platform measurement solutions.

Matta added, “With the advent of digital technology, the time has come to offer the cross-platform measurement systems of the future: through which content owners will ultimately be able to quantify their entire audience, and agencies will have access to the cross-platform metrics needed to effectively plan and execute campaigns. This merger also recognizes the critical importance of combining digital and TV assets for next generation media measurement, which requires a higher degree of precision at both a national and local market level.”

Livek said, “Both companies have been innovators in content and consumer measurement, advanced demographics and analytics, providing the industry with world-class digital, TV and movie consumption information. This merger will accelerate the pace of that innovation, and offer an improved solution for cross-platform measurement, not available anywhere else. Rentrak’s expertise in precisely measuring TV and movies, and comScore’s industry-leading digital measurement capabilities, are natural complements. Combined, our expertise and information assets will enable us to provide the industry with the most granular measurement solutions that reflect the ever-changing way that people are consuming content across platforms. ”

Together, comScore’s industry-leading digital audience and advertising solutions, combined with Rentrak’s census-based worldwide movie and video-on-demand measurement, and its TV measurement offerings, will provide a more complete picture of the way people consume media today and in the future.

The transaction is subject to shareholder approval of both companies, along with customary regulatory closing conditions, and is expected to be completed by early 2016.

JP Morgan Securities LLC served as financial advisor and Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati acted as legal advisor to comScore. Goldman, Sachs & Co served as financial advisor and Perkins Coie LLC acted as legal advisor to Rentrak.