Isentia Group to be acquired for AU$67m

Media monitoring company Isentia Group has been offered a takeover from software company Access Intelligence. Under the offer, subjected to shareholder approval, Isentia shareholders will receive AU$0.175 per share in cash, implying an enterprise value of AU$67 million. Access Intelligence is a technology-led company delivering software-as-a-service (SaaS) products that address the business needs of customers in the PR, marketing and communications industries.

According to the company, Access Intelligence’s technology is relied on by more than 3,500 organisations, including global blue-chip enterprises, marketing agencies, public sector organisations and non-profits. The acquisition is said to “create a global media monitoring business that will benefit from greater scale, a diverse and competitive product offering and greater geographic reach, bringing benefits to all clients”.  Access Intelligence CEO, Joanna Arnold, said that Access Intelligence and Isentia are aligned culturally and strategically, and “customers will benefit from a product offering that gives them more choice with a broader geographical reach”.

Arnold intends to relocate to Australia for at least twelve months for the acquisition. In the initial phase of the integration, each business will operate independently with a team of Access Intelligence’s senior executives working directly with Isentia’s management team to combine the businesses. Shareholders will have the opportunity to vote on the acquisition in August, with the deal expected to close in early September.

Isentia CEO, Ed Harrison (pictured), said that Isentia will continue to invest in its existing portfolio of products including the upcoming launch of the new Isentia platform and completion of the move to real-time broadcast monitoring. “Access Intelligence has a strong track record in delivering successful products to PR and comms professionals, through their powerful social media platform, Pulsar. For the Isentia team this represents the opportunity to be part of a wider global organisation,” he added 

Earlier in July, Isentia closed its operations in North Asia and moved its client base to Hong Kong-based partner provider Wiser. At the same time, it sold its business to a local South Korean partner and exited the market as well. Harrison has then said that the decision to exit North Asian markets was not taken lightly but reflects Isentia’s “relentless strategic focus on building regional scale with a single platform”. “The exit streamlines our business and clears the path for innovation to reach all our markets simultaneously,” he said.

Over the years, the company has seen a fair bit of shuffle in its staff. In 2017, Isentia revealed plans to wind down its content marketing business, formerly known as King Content. Reported on ASX, this was due to its continued underperformance, following close monitoring and reviews by management of the content marketing business. In 2015, Isentia acquired content marketing company King Content in a full acquisition.

Following the purchase, 60% of the acquisition was paid upfront in cash, and the final expected price will be AU$48 million dependent on reaching revenue targets over the next two financial years. The acquisition  was to further diversify Isentia’s services across owned and earned media” in one of the fastest growing segments of the communications and marketing industries. King Content, which is headquartered in Sydney also had offices in Singapore, Hong Kong, Melbourne London and New York.

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