MIL OSI – Source: Axel Springer in English – Press Release/Statement
Headline: Axel Springer and United Internet bring together Awin and affilinet, forming one global affiliate network
Axel Springer and United Internet will merge their companies Awin and affilinet, to form a joint affiliate network in the future. An agreement governing this transaction was signed on August 1, 2017. Subject to approval from antitrust authorities, United Internet will incorporate affilinet into AWIN AG. In future, Axel Springer will control 80 percent of the company, and United Internet will control 20 percent. The company, which will be headquartered in Berlin, will be led by Mark Walters, CEO of AWIN AG.
Axel Springer will take over the AWIN AG shares currently controlled by Swisscom (47.5 percent), under an option agreement.
By joining forces, Axel Springer and United Internet will strengthen their competitive position in the affiliate marketing sector and lay the foundations for accelerated international growth. The consolidation of the expertise, skills and reach of Awin and affilinet, enables the expansion of new revenue models including Influencer Marketing. Furthermore, this step will create the conditions to prepare for an Initial Public Offering (IPO) of the company.
Operating in 15 locations, with 900 employees and 6,000 advertisers, Awin is one of the largest affiliate marketing networks globally, successfully connecting end customers with brands in 180 different countries. Since January 2017, US based network ShareASale belongs to the group. In March 2017, Affiliate Window and zanox were merged under the Awin brand. In the 2016 financial year, Awin generated revenues of EUR 567.4 million and EBITDA of EUR 25.5 million.
affilinet, with headquarters in Munich, is with about 200 employees and more than 3,500 advertisers a leading affiliate marketing provider in Europe. affilinet operates in Germany, Great Britain, France, Spain, the Netherlands as well as Switzerland and Austria. In the 2016 financial year, affilinet generated revenues of EUR 150.7 million and an EBITDA of EUR 4.9 million.
The affiliate marketing business model is based on connecting advertisers and publishers online, tracking clicks and sales from publishers to advertisers. Awin and affilinet provide the infrastructure through powerful technology and personalised service to enable companies to grow their businesses online.
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: “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.”
The transaction is subject to approval from the relevant antitrust authorities.