Telaria and Rubicon Project to Merge

Supply-side platforms Telaria and Rubicon Project have agreed a stock-for-stock merger, the two companies announced today. The two claim the merger, which has already been approved by the boards of directors of both companies, creates the largest independent sell-side advertising platform. The companies have a combined market cap of over $700 million at the time of writing.

Once the merger is completed, Rubicon Project CEO Michael Barrett will act as CEO of the combined company, while Telaria CEO Mark Zagorski will be named president and COO.

The two companies say that as a combined entity they will benefit from extended reach, but also from playing off each others’ strengths. Rubicon Projects has traditionally been stronger in display and mobile, while Telaria specialises in video and on particularly on connected TV. Their combined platform will allow publishers to sell inventory “across all auction types and formats including CTV, desktop display, video, audio, and mobile,” according to the announcement.

Connected TV (CTV) will be a core focus of the merged business. The two say they see a big opportunity in CTV, believing that CTV inventory is poised to be almost entirely programmatically traded in the near future. With their combined geographical footprint and resources, Telaria and Rubicon Project say they’re well positioned to cement themselves as the market leader in CTV.

“The combination of Rubicon Project and Telaria will establish the world’s largest, independent sell-side advertising platform with scale, capabilities and solutions unmatched by the competition,” said Rubicon Project’s Michael Barrett. “This transformative combination builds on our commitment to trust and transparency and accelerates our strategy to provide buyers and sellers with a single path to every format and channel including CTV.”

“Our businesses are highly complementary, and when combined, are a powerful, strategic alternative to the walled gardens, which have been frustrating both buyers and sellers due to their lack of transparency, innovation bottlenecks, and conflicted business models,” stated Telaria’s Zagorski. “The two companies will provide more technology resources, a broader geographic footprint and deeper financial assets to attack the growing opportunity created by the shift from linear viewing to CTV to the benefit of our customers and in support of a thriving open internet.”

The transaction, which is expected to close in the first half of 2020, is subject to the receipt of required regulatory approvals and other customary closing conditions and the approval of stockholders of both companies.

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