XLMedia Acquires Blue Claw Media in All-Cash $2.5M Deal

Leading global digital performance publisher XLMedia continues its shopping spree, this time acquiring Blue Claw Media, a marketing agency operating out of Leeds, UK, for a total consideration of up to £1.8 million ($2.5 million).

Cash-Only Transaction

The acquisition deal for Blue Claw Media follows more than a year of collaboration between XLMedia and the agency as their partnership began in December 2020. During this time, search engine optimization (SEO), pay per click (PPC) and content marketing specialist Blue Claw proved its value to the group by implementing new processes and systems, which improved traffic and performance for a number of XLMedia websites. The agency also developed a number of proprietary tools and systems that proved its delivery track record.

We are delighted to announce the acquisition of BlueClaw Media, which will see us bring this hugely talented team into the XLM family. Having worked closely with them for over 12 months, we’ve been able to experience first-hand the quality of their work and are hugely excited at the prospect of BlueClaw’s expertise being rolled out across our broader portfolio.”

Stuart Simms, CEO, XLMedia

The acquisition price of the deal will be split into three equal payments. The first one will be on transaction close when XLMedia will pay the first £0.6 million ($0.82 million), the second payment will happen at the end of the first year following the transaction close, while the third payment is contingent on certain performance targets being met. XLMedia is funding the transaction that is expected to be earning accretive in the first full year of ownership through its existing cash.

Positive Impact

XLMedia is acquiring the agency, which was founded in 2007, to gain a UK hub for the group’s European Sports business and utilize Blue Claw’s significant experience in the market verticals in which the group operates. The agency’s talent and automated workflow capabilities are expected to bring consistent SEO and digital PR best practices to the group’s wider portfolio.

Following the transaction’s close, Blue Claw Media founder and owner Fergus Clawson will remain with the business, which registered revenues of £1.1 million ($1.5 million) and EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization) of £100,000 ($136,700) for the past 12 months, despite the heavy impact from coronavirus-related developments. Blue Claw Media is projected to deliver in the 12 months to November 30, 2022, £1.6 million ($2.2 million) in revenues and £400,000 ($547,000) in EBITDA.

Today’s announcement further demonstrates our commitment to rebalancing the business with the correct skills, people and technologies in order to create a sustainable platform capable of delivering long-term growth.”

Stuart Simms, CEO, XLMedia

Blue Claw will continue to operate as an autonomous business for the remainder of 2021, taking charge of XLMedia’s EU Sports business. Starting in 2022, it will become a shared service function available for the group’s owned assets, as well as its agency partners.

Blue Claw Media is the latest business acquired by XLMedia, following in the footsteps of online publisher of US college football news Saturday Football Inc., which was acquired in a $23 million deal earlier this month, as well as the $26 million deal for offshore digital media Sports Betting Dime (SBD) in March.

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