2019 opens with Cision acquiring two companies, including TrendKite, Hootsuite taking itself off the market, and Edelman releasing its Trust Barometer for 2019.
Cision acquires TrendKite for $US225 million, reviews leadership
Cision is at it again – acquiring two companies in quick succession. In mid-January, Cision acquired TrendKite for $USD225 million. Burton-Taylor’s Chris Porter estimated an acquisition multiple over 8.8x revenue. It’s expected that the TrendKite solution will continue to be sold as a separate platform. The news also prompted a restructure of Cision’s leadership. TrendKite’s CEO Erik Huddleston will take over from Jason Edelboim to lead Cision in the Americas. (Edelboim is joining Dataminr as COO.) Meanwhile, Cision has confirmed that the president of Europe, Middle East, India and Africa, Abe Smith, has left the business. Whitney Benner, currently Cision’s Chief Human Resources Officer, will be leaving the business at the end of January.
Cision buys Falcon.io for about $US123 million
On 3 January, Cision announced the acquisition of Falcon.io, the Danish social media management platform. According to SEC filings, the deal was worth $USD63.3 million in cash, plus 5.3 million shares, which closed at $US11.32 on 3 January. Falcon.io will continue to be offered as a stand-alone social media platform and will also be integrated with the Cision Communications Cloud.
Hootsuite abandons sale plan
Back in October, reports emerged that Hootsuite was up for sale with a guide price of $USD750 million, about a five-time multiplier on revenue of $USD150 million. The Globe and Mail is now reporting that the company has called off the auction process after receiving offers below expectations. Talks with private equity firms apparently generated initial offers ranging as high as US$650 million to US$700 million.
Edelman Trust Barometer is out now
The Edelman Trust Barometer for 2019 is now out, and is definitely worth a read. The online survey questions over 33,000 respondents in 27 markets to understand levels of trust. This year’s report highlights the role that employers play in being a “trustworthy source of information about contentious societal issues”. The report also shows that government and media remain distrusted by the general population, while business is seen as particularly trustworthy. (It’s worth noting that the report over-represents employees of multinational companies.)
Storyful refocuses on disinformation
Storyful has closed its Hong Kong office as part of a global realignment of the service, which will see a greater focus on the European, North American and Australian markets. In an interview with AdNews, Sharb Farjami, Storyful’s CEO, stated that the News Corp.-owned business is planning to shift its focus from “content aggregation to become an ‘intelligence agency’ that fights fake news in newsrooms and manages the corporate reputation of brands”.
Fox News and PMG prevail in two copyright fights
Fox News has settled a copyright lawsuit against TVEyes, the broadcast media monitoring service. As part of the deal, which concludes a five-year case, TVEyes has agreed to a permanent injunction and will no longer be permitted to carry copyrighted content from Fox News. In other copyright news, courts in Germany ruled that media monitoring organisations need publisher permission (or a PMG license) for creating and storing a digital mastercopy of press content. The courts rejected Kantar Germany’s counterclaim that publisher-owned PMG is abusing market power.
Facebook invests in local news, integrates apps
Facebook is set to integrate WhatsApp, Messenger and Instagram. The move may see end-to-end encryption introduced across all three apps. In other Facebook news, the company plans to invest $US300 million in local news. Perhaps a reflection of the importance of local news as a content source to Facebook, the funding will support journalists and newsrooms in the news-gathering process, and help them build sustainable business models.
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