Velti Buys MIG for $25m

In a move that few saw coming, mobile marketing firm Velti has bought Mobile Interactive Group (MIG) for a minimum consideration of $25m (£15.8m), including $20m of cash at closing. Depending on MIG’s performance, Velti will pay up to an additional $34m by 2013. MIG’s management team will join Velti’s global management team, and will continue to operate the business.

MIG has an impressive client roster, including Vodafone, O2, PepsiCo, ITV, BBC, Sony, Barclaycard, and Marks & Spencer. It offers mobile marketing, mobile commerce and mobile billing services in 44 countries, with operations in the UK, US, the Netherlands, Belgium and Australia. It also enjoys Facebook Preferred Developer Consultant status.

The firm has been on the acquisition trail itself in recent months, snapping up Manchester-based Piri in June 2010, and Amsterdam’s Golden Bytes in February of this year. It has more than 160 employees, and in 2010, generated net revenues of more than $20m, off the back of more than $100m in gross billings. Velti IPOd in January 2011, raising $150m in the process.

“This acquisition…combined with the resources of Velti, creates a strong resource for brands, mobile operators and media companies around the world,” says Velti CEO, Alex Moukas. “This acquisition also solidifies our leadership in mobile marketing, a $16bn category that many predict will nearly double to $30bn in the next few years. We’re definitely well positioned to take a healthy share of this market and bring unique scale and depth to our partners around the world.”

MIG CEO and founder Barry Houlihan says that the complementary strategic capabilities, geographic footprint and innovative customer solutions of the two companies creates: “a global mobile marketing powerhouse.” “Velti will drive significant economies of scale and innovation for our existing customers,” he says.

It’s not clear at this stage what will happen to the various MIG sub-brands/divisions such as 4th Screen Advertising. We hope to offer some clarification tomorrow, following a conversation with one or both parties. If nothing else, the deal explains why MIG has been, by its standards, a tad quiet in recent months.


You can read our interview with Veltis SVP, business development manager Europe, Mike Walsh, here.