Integral Ad Science Set To Debut On NASDAQ As More Media Companies File To Go Public

Outbrain and System1 executives have reached separate deals to take the companies through an initial public offering (IPO). The moves, announced Tuesday, follow several others such as Innovid, BuzzFeed, and Integral Ad Science (IAS).

IAS expects to start trading on NASDAQ under the ticker IAS on Wednesday.

The implied valuation of the company would be about $2.4 billion, with 15,000,000 shares offered in the range of between $15 and $17 per share.

These IPOs mean that marketers will have additional insight into each company’s business transitions to make better decisions on the types of companies they work with. It also means that marketers and analysts can estimate more accurately the growth of specific sectors within the media industry, according to Brian Weser, global president, business intelligence, GroupM.

Recommendation platform Outbrain publicly filed a registration statement on Form S-1 with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) related to a proposed initial public offering of its common stock.

The number of shares offer and the price range have not yet been determined. Outbrain applied to list its common stock on the NASDAQ Global Select Market under the ticker symbol “OB.” 

Citigroup, Jefferies, Barclays, and Evercore ISI will serve as joint bookrunners for Outbrain’s proposed offering. JMP Securities, Needham & Company and LUMA Securities will act as co-managers.

System1, an omnichannel customer acquisition platform, on Wednesday also announced plans to become a publicly listed company through a business deal with Tedbia Acquisition Corp. System1 will be valued at $1.4 billion. 

Similar to Innovid’s IPO, Trebia is the SPAC acquirer and the vehicle to take the company public. Trebia investors are investing in a growing, profitable omnichannel customer acquisition platform in System1.

System1’s executives began talks with Trebia more than six months ago, and knew it was the right fit for the transaction. Becoming a public company is the next step in the company’s evolution. Trebia’s shareholders will be required to approve the deal through a vote.

The growth capital provided by the transaction will accelerate System1’s leading position as a privacy-centric digital marketer, allow for investment in its proprietary technology platform (Responsive Acquisition Marketing Platform, or RAMP) and complete its acquisition of 

System1 operates a portfolio of more than 40 digital properties that help about 120 million monthly visitors navigate their lives. Among the properties are MapQuest, Startpage, HowStuffWorks, and CarsGenius.

The transaction for System1 includes up to $600 million of fully committed financing, comprised of a debt commitment of up to $400 million and a $200 million equity backstop from Cannae Holdings (that, combined with a portion of the debt commitment, will be used as a backstop for potential future improvements -- specifically Trebia.

BuzzFeed last week reached a deal to go public through SPAC through a merger with Complex Networks.  The Wall Street Journal reported it as part of a plan to consolidate players in digital media.

The deal with 890 5th Avenue Partners Inc. is expected to close by the end of the year, BuzzFeed said.

As part of the transaction, the company will acquire Complex Networks, a digital publisher that specializes in streetwear, music and pop culture, for $300 million in cash and stock from Verizon Communications Inc. and Hearst Corp., which together bought Complex in 2016.

BuzzFeed, per the WSJ, is vying for greater scale to compete for online ad dollars with tech giants Google, Amazon, and Facebook.


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