Following the proposed sale of many of its event brands to ITE Group, Ascential has announced the acquisition of WARC Limited for an initial cash consideration of £19.5m, plus deferred consideration of £4.5m payable in 2019.
WARC is a global digital subscription business that helps brands, agencies and media platforms assess marketing effectiveness across all channels.
The business strengthens Ascential’s digital product offering in the marketing discipline and the intention is to combine WARC with Cannes Lions’ The Work, to form a digital subscription product of scale. The move appears to cement Ascential’s focus on its digital offering as the sale of the bulk of its events portfolio progresses.
The acquisition, which will be funded from cash reserves and existing borrowing facilities, is expected to enhance Ascential’s earnings per share in the current financial year.
Duncan Painter, CEO of Ascential, commented: “Ascential enables its customers to win in the digital economy. WARC is an important step forward as we continue to grow our digital offering, adding breadth and depth to our marketing proposition. Alongside Cannes Lions’ The Work, our recent digital product launch, we will now have a digital subscription product of scale encompassing both creative excellence and marketing effectiveness.”
The acquisition is expected to complete on 2 July 2018.