German publishing house Axel Springer has announced that it is to merge its global affiliate network with that of United Internet, a German ISP, subject to the approval of competition authorities.
Should it proceed the move will bring United Internet’s Affilinet under the wing of Axel Springer’s Awin – with the publisher owning 80% of the combined business which will be led by current Awin CEO Mark Walters.
Affilinet currently employs 200 across eight European offices while its bigger partner Awin counts 900 staff in 15 offices globally, with the merger affording the economies of scale necessary to consolidate its position in Europe while powering international expansion.
Andreas Wiele, president marketing and classified ad models, Axel Springer SE and Ralph Dommermuth, CEO of United Internet: “With the merger of Affilinet and Awin we build one of the leading affiliate networks worldwide and at the same time lay the groundwork for the intended stock market listing.”
Mark Walters, CEO of Awin added: “This is an exciting time for both of our companies and the industry as a whole. Affiliate marketing is attracting a new wave of publishers from social and traditional media who are driving growth in the channel. Combining forces with Affilinet will enable us to shape the industry of the future for all our partners.”
In due course Awin intends to pursue an Initial Public Offering.