NEWTON Media eyes buys to strengthen its global player strategy

NEWTON Media eyes buys to strengthen its global player strategy
2/19/2016 on NEWTON Media´s plans to become a significant media intelligence services provider in Europe., 16th February 2016

NEWTON Media eyes buys to strengthen its Balkan client base

• Bulgaria, Romania and ex Yugoslavia targeted
• Sees interest of financial and strategic investors
NEWTON Media, the Czech media monitoring and intelligence company, is interested in opportunistic buys to strengthen its client base in the Balkans, Chief Executive Petra Masinova said.
The company is eyeing media monitoring companies, particularly in Bulgaria, Romania and the former Yugoslavia, to expand its footprint and strengthen its position, Masinova said. No talks are under way at present, she added. Existing markets include the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Poland, Slovenia, Serbia, Croatia, Macedonia, Bosnia-Hercegovina and Montenegro.
Buys could be worth up to “several million euros” but smaller than MCA Grupa, the Slovenia-based media monitoring and analysis provider covering Southeast Europe, which was acquired by NEWTON Media in 2014. MCA Grupa’s revenues at the time totalled around CZK 145m (EUR 5.4m).
NEWTON Media will raise its 51% stake in MCA Grupa to 100% by 2018, Masinova said.

Global player strategy
In the medium term, NEWTON Media is also interested in expanding into Russia and Ukraine, possibly through acquisitions, although there are no moves in that direction right now, Masinova said. It could also consider future buys in Germany and Austria, but only after it gains a significant number of clients in these two countries.
The CZK 500m turnover company is pursuing its new strategy to become a global player by offering coverage to clients across Europe, rather than being just a regional player, she said. For example, it is presently competing for large media monitoring orders from NATO and the European Commission, she said.
NEWTON Media has attracted a number of approaches as recently as last month from financial investors, both from the US and from Europe, as well as one larger European competitor. However, to date the two owners, Petr Herian and Petr Pazour, have not entertained the idea of a sale, or a stake sale, and do not want to give up control. This could potentially change in line with the company’s goals to become a global player, leading for example to a minority stake sale to finance investments, Masinova said.
The company is now focusing on consolidating existing operations and simplifying its group structure. It has appointed a new Czech Republic CEO to free up Masinova to focus on global expansion, she said.

Broader portfolio
NEWTON Media plans to increasingly offer more complex, tailor-made media intelligence services such as market analysis and also address market trends of combining traditional and social media. For example, there is potential to expand in the field of editorial analysis, Masinova said.

Another strategic goal is strengthening its position in Poland, a key market given its size. This will involve organic growth and strengthening of the local management team, Masinova said. NEWTON Media would probably use its in-house team for transactions since it knows the markets and players. It finances buys through its own resources and bank loans, Masinova said. The company offers media monitoring and analysis, public relations as well as media training and strategy. It directly operates in nine markets. Its larger competitors include Kantar Media and Gorkana, both based in the UK, and Australia-based Isentia, Masinova said.

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