By Kelly Liyakasa and Zach Rodgers
Verizon-owned AOL will snap up mobile ad platform Millennial Media, the companies said Thursday morning.
AOL will pay $1.75 per share of Millennial stock, valuing the company at $238 million, as was previously rumored. This price is a considerable premium over the company's Wednesday close-of-trading market cap of $187 million.
As AdExchanger noted in July, Millennial Media could prove to be the mobile equivalent of AOL’s Adap.tv acquisition – a way to rapidly expand its capabilities and supply in the app ecosystem, where media consumption is rapidly shifting.
Over the last three years, Millennial has sought to upgrade those capabilities by buying first Jumptap in 2013 and then Nexage in 2014.
Additionally, AOL CEO Tim Armstrong may see the acquisition as an opportunity to leverage Verizon's millions of direct relationships with smartphone users into a scaled mobile ad network play with the deterministic accuracy that only Facebook and Google can bring to bear today.
"There's a huge piece Millennial really fills for us on the supply side and from an app developer perspective," Don Kennedy, president of advertiser platforms for AOL, told AdExchanger. "We will add a heck of a lot of really great talent from an engineering and sales perspective to start to bring a truly holistic cross-device solution to the marketplace."
Kennedy added that Millennial will help Verizon create what he described as a really comprehensive media, content and technology offering.
AOL needed to get into the mobile app monetization race, and Millennial added access to a mobile supply-side platform responsible for placing ads in about 65,000 apps.
"We bring a lot of demand to the table from a client, advertiser and content perspective," Kennedy added. "If you look at our own acquisition a couple of months ago, and the deal we drove with Microsoft, it underscores our goal of being a global mobile media and technology company."
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