Content delivery company Limelight Networks on Monday announced plans to acquire privately held rich media company EyeWonder for $110 million. The transaction is expected to close in the first half of 2010.
Describing the move as "the next phase of our company's growth," EyeWonder CEO John Vincent said Monday that the "acquisition will provide the scale and resources necessary for our service and technology solutions to grow rapidly and globally, allowing us to continue supporting our agency, advertiser and publisher clients."
Founded in 1999, EyeWonder presently employs about 250 employees, and layoffs are not expected as a result of the acquisition.
Last year, EyeWonder reported that revenue increased 67% year-over-year, although the privately held company declined to provide specifics. The Seattle-based EyeWonder also expanded internationally, opening an office in Sydney, Australia.
With image-based advertising under pressure due to the recession, Vincent acknowledged at the beginning of the year that 2009 would present unique challenges. "Certainly, display advertising has taken a hit during this recession, and is a concern for everyone in the ad industry," Vincent said at the time.
This marks Tempe, AZ-based Limelight's second significant acquisition of the year. In May, it bought video ad insertion firm Kiptronic for a reported $12 million.
Jeff Lunsford, Limelight's chairman and chief executive, said the acquisitions are necessary to address consumers' rapid adoption of new technology, particularly with regard to mobile devices.
"We believe joining forces with the EyeWonder team will help us build long-term value for our shareholders and further establish Limelight Networks as an important, at-scale participant in the rapidly growing rich media, video, mobile, and Web TV advertising sectors."
Kiptronic's Web-based tools are designed to help advertisers detect and serve dynamic video ads to connected devices. Publisher partners include NPR, Fox, The Guardian, Conde Nast, The Economist, and NBC.com.
Late last year, Limelight rival Akamai Technologies agreed to acquire ad network acerno for $95 million. Acerno also boasted an impressive executive roster, beginning with its CEO Tom Sperry, who previously served as general manager of aQuantive's Avenue A digital agency and president of its technology and service unit, Atlas.
Last year, Microsoft was rumored to be considering an acquisition of Limelight.