AOL completed its $250 million acquisition of Baltimore-based Millennial Media, Baltimore’s one-time tech darling whose mobile ad services proved popular if not always profitable.
AOL, which is owned by Verizon, paid $1.75 per share for all outstanding Millennial stock. Shares of Millennial will no longer be traded on the New York Stock Exchange, and the company will now be a wholly-owned subsidiary of AOL.
Millennial, founded in 2006, specializes in placing advertising in mobile apps. Millennial’s products will be incorporated into ONE by AOL, the larger company’s platform to allow advertising “across all screens.”
Millennial Media CEO Michael Barrett will leave the company and has a golden parachute compensation package lined up totaling $2.2 million.
SEC filings show that Millennial’s President of Managed Media Jason Kelly will also leave the company, with a $1.13 million severance package, including $466,667 in cash, $656,250 in stock and $12,000 in benefits. Marc Theerman, executive vice president for business strategy, will leave with a $1.23 million package, including $352,083 in cash, $864,063 in stock and $12,000 in benefits.
The purchase of Millennial is seen as an effort by Verizon to bolster its challenge to Google Inc. in mobile advertising.
“The acquisition of Millennial Media boosts our global, mobile capabilities and scale across ONE by AOL for advertisers and agencies, and offers the most attractive monetization platform for app developers,” said Bob Lord, President, AOL Platforms, in a news release. “It also adds an incredibly talented team of mobile-first experts, many of whom will take on leadership and integral roles at AOL Platforms.”
Nine Millennial Media executives will join AOL Platforms in leadership roles in technology, sales, product and operations, according to AOL.
Millennial had seen its valuation hit $2 billion when it went public in 2012. The company had become a leading player in mobile ad marketplace, its products in demand by the world’s top brands, app developers and mobile web publishers.
But fierce competition took its toll, and a stream of red ink on the company’s balance sheets – Millennial had an adjusted net loss of $83 million on $296.2 million in sales last year – made it ripe for a takeover.