Financially troubled media measurement company Comscore says it is in advanced talks with an “anchor investor” to help it reduce debt.
Comscore's long-term debt was $199.1 million in 2019, growing from $178.5 million in 2018 and $2.1 million in 2017.
Much of the company's trouble same to the surface in 2016 over accounting practices around revenue recognition. The company said it rectified concerns and restated a few years of financial statements.
In 2018, Comscore looked to possibly sell the company, but there were no takers, according to reports.
In an effort to lower its debt issues, Comscore struck a deeply discounted $20 million deal in 2019 with a private-equity company that troubled investors and analysts.
Later that year, the Securities and Exchange Commission charged Comscore and its former CEO Serge Matta for engaging in a fraudulent scheme to overstate revenue by $50 million and for making false and misleading statements about financial performance.
The company and Matta entered a settlement with the SEC without admitting wrongdoing.
In its recent third-quarter period, Comscore's revenue slipped 7% to $88.0 million compared to $94.3 million, posting a slightly larger net loss of $11.1 million compared to $10.6 million.
Revenues from ratings and planning products -- the bulk of its business (71.3% of overall revenue) -- dropped 4% to $62.7 million.
Comscore's analytics and optimization business was down 5% to $17.4 million. Movie data services revenue sank 27% to $7.8 million due to the impact of ongoing theater closures.
Comscore says it continues to focus on new media measurement around a new impressions-based currency with “enhanced advertising capabilities.”