Ascential has acquired a 51% majority stake in ASR Group

Ascential plc (LSE: ASCL.L), the specialist information, analytics and eCommerce optimisation company, today announces that it has acquired a 51% majority stake in ASR Group Holdings LLC (“ASR”), a digital content optimisation business that enables brands to grow sales through eCommerce marketplaces.

Through its software-driven solutions, ASR helps drive higher consumer engagement rates for marketplace content and higher sales for the featured brands. ASR’s expertise offers an exciting new area of expansion for the Digital Commerce Business Unit, building on our current offer by allowing us to directly connect professional independent content with brands’ products at the point of purchase to enhance the impact of their advertising in the marketplaces.
ASR is headquartered in Columbus, Ohio.

The acquisition is for an initial cash consideration of US$122m. Ascential also has an option to acquire two further 24.5% stakes in the company based on a pre-determined multiple of trailing EBITDA between July 2022 and June 2025. In the year ended December 2020 ASR recorded unaudited adjusted EBITDA of US$9.1m which had grown to US$13.6m for the twelve month period ended 31 May 2021. As of December 2020 ASR had gross assets of US$3.3m.

The acquisition is expected to be earnings enhancing in 2021.

Duncan Painter, CEO of Ascential, commented:
“ASR’s leadership in eCommerce independent content optimisation adds capabilities in this rapidly emerging market to our already compelling measurement and execution services for brands. The global footprint of our existing business and expertise across multiple marketplaces offer a clear path to accelerate ASR’s expansion, while introducing further insight and opportunities to grow our own Digital Commerce proposition.”