WPP-owned Xaxis is to buy Triad Retail media in the US where the agency network’s adtech hub hopes to bolster its relationship with some of the country’s largest brands including: Walmart, Toys “R” Us, etc, by helping them monetize their online properties.
Financial details of the deal, which is still subject to regulatory approval, were not publicly disclosed, but with revenues in excess of $120m a year, the Florida-based outfit (which has 700-plus employees in offices across 10 markets across Europe and Asia) is likely to be in the hundreds of millions.
Triad helps retailers monetize their websites by selling ads against their content – either content marketing pieces (such as recipes, etc) or on their actual e-commerce pages. The purchase is likely to establish Xaxis as a significant player in this space. Meanwhile, the purchase will also arm Triad with access to Xaxis’ technology, resources and most lucratively the client base of WPP.
The move comes amid a year of seismic change for Xaxis, with the company promoting Brian Gleason to the role of global CEO early in 2016, after the former occupant of the role Brian Lesser similarly moved upstairs to head-up WPP’s media investment arm Group M, with today's purchase representing the first under Gleason's tenure.
Similarly, Xaxis’ mobile specialist arm Light Reaction also saw a change in its leadership this year, with the exit of long-time chief Paul Dolan, who made way for new global CEO Bob Walczak.
Meanwhile, the WPP unit has also spent the last year working with AppNexus (an adtech company the agency network has a significant investment in) on a scheme called Xaxis Co-Pilot where its employees use AI to help improve the perofmance of its traders.