Rogers expanding online with BV! Media acquisition

Rogers Media has struck a deal to buy Montreal-based digital ad firm BV! Media Inc. for approximately $25 million. BV! Media is a leading Canadian Internet advertising network–including properties like LeDevoir.com, Air Canada Vacations, RueFrontenac.com, and Cinoche.com–and is the publisher of the Branchez-Vous! news and information portal, which has wide use in Quebec. Rogers will […]

Rogers Media has struck a deal to buy Montreal-based digital ad firm BV! Media Inc. for approximately $25 million.

BV! Media is a leading Canadian Internet advertising network–including properties like LeDevoir.com, Air Canada Vacations, RueFrontenac.com, and Cinoche.com–and is the publisher of the Branchez-Vous! news and information portal, which has wide use in Quebec.

Rogers will pay 40 cents a share; BV! Media shares closed Thursday at 16.5 cents on the TSX Venture Exchange. The deal will likely close in late September after shareholders vote on the transaction.

Buying BV! gives Rogers Media an immediate boost in the Quebec and Francophone market, both in terms of digital ad sales and content, said Claude Galipeau, Rogers Media’s senior vice-president and general manager, digital media.

The deal will instantly give Rogers a huge increase in the number of options for its advertising clients online and grows its content presence thanks to Branchez-Vous.

“It helps our existing properties in that market [giving us] more to sell, which is always a good thing,” said Galipeau. “On the ad network side, it’s not just about display and brand sales, but performance sales around cost-per-click campaigns, cost-per-acquisition campaigns, and behavioural targeting across networks.

“Putting these solutions together just makes us a much stronger sales organization, with effectively one-stop shopping for our agency clients.”

BV! Media boasts representation of over 400 top-tier publishers with a combined reach of over 15 million unique visitors per month in Canada. The company had worked with Rogers Media in the past as a remnant sales solution. Galipeau said the new deal is part of Rogers Media efforts to build a bigger business around ad representation.

“This brings greater value to the partners we have and it gives us as a sales organization greater reach for our ad clients,” he said. “Having more inventory, more volume and more reach, really allows us to be much more compelling and efficient for digital media planners.”

In terms of staff, Galipeau couldn’t get into specifics on just how BV! Media will be integrated with the existing Rogers Media team, but did say the purpose of the transaction was to grow the company’s sales force. He added that the move is part of a larger growth strategy at Rogers Media to invest in its own properties and partner with other players in the marketplace. This week, Rogers announced a joint venture with Torstar Corp. to commercialize the online publishing system TOPS.

Patrick Pierra, founder and co-CEO of BV! Media, said the sale provides his company with strong growth potential as part of a bigger company.

“After 15 years as a successful standalone business we are eager to become part of one of Canada’s largest media companies and to have our team and assets contribute to Rogers’ expansion in both digital media and the Quebec market.”

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