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Sizmek files for Chapter 11 to tackle 'over-leveraged balance sheet'


By John McCarthy, Opinion editor

March 31, 2019 | 2 min read

Indie ad tech Sizmek has filed for Chapter 11, indicating the difficulties making gains in an industry dominated by Facebook and Google.

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Sizmek files for Chapter 11 to tackle 'over-leveraged balance sheet'

On 29 March, the ad tech firm initiated voluntary proceedings under Chapter 11, while it "reviews strategic alternatives". The private equity-backed firm said it has been holding stakeholder discussions over the last few months in order to address its "over-leveraged balance sheet".

It added: "Chapter 11 protection is the only responsible mechanism by which the company can seek access to capital and preserve value". It said, however, that its primary lender took control of the company's bank accounts and cut off access to capital.

The move may put Sizmek's valued ad server on the market. - or help it reorganize to avoid liquidation. It is pursued by Index Exchange, PubMatic, OpenX and AppNexus, for $8.9m, $7.3m, $5.9m and $5.3m, respectively.

Google is owed $4.5m, and AOL, $4.1m, although 50 creditors are listed in pursuit of sums numbering over $100,000. Debtors may move upon company assets, leveraging the debt.

In November 2017, it trimmed 4% of staff, in order to clean up the balance sheet. It came as it integrated with Rocket Fuel, an ad tech company specializing in AI.

Just months ago it entered into a partnership with advertising marketplace Sublime in an effort to improve both audience targeting and their media inventories.

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