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NewsCreativeSOCIAL CHAIN announces major acquisition as it shakes off COVID-19

SOCIAL CHAIN announces major acquisition as it shakes off COVID-19

THE SOCIAL CHAIN AG (WKN: A1YC99) is on the verge of its largest acquisition in the young company’s history as it prepares to take a 51 percent majority stake in A4D Inc. The Southern Californian specialist for digital performance marketing increases the global capabilities of SOCIAL CHAIN and is expected to further accelerate the growth of the social media pioneer in the U.S. The closing of the transaction between the parties is scheduled for the end of May.

SOCIAL CHAIN is already successfully operating its U.S. business from New York, with customers including Uber and Twitch, and is committed to its goal of generating at least 50 percent of its revenues in the U.S. market by 2022. Today, around half of the 80 million followers of SOCIAL CHAIN’s owned social media channels reside in the U.S.

A4D, the user acquisition focused advertising network, was founded in 2004 by Jason Akatiff, an expert in digital performance marketing who will remain on board as CEO. With well over 12 million acquisitions of new users for over 3000 clients, A4D has proven to generate high quality users. A4D employs 40 people and has an annual turnover of more than $35 million.

SOCIAL CHAIN has recently announced its first turnover and profit forecast for 2020 since the merger of Lumaland AG and The Social Chain Group AG the previous year. Based on the current business performance, the Management Board expects a pro-forma consolidated turnover of approximately $220 million and a positive EBITDA of $9 million. This forecast continues to position SOCIAL CHAIN as one of the pioneers in the social media publishing, social marketing and social commerce industry.

On the acquisition of A4D, Steven Bartlett, CEO and Co-founder of SOCIAL CHAIN, said: “Our fastest growing international market over recent years has been the U.S. In 2019 we saw our revenue increase by over 150% in the U.S. We see it as possibly the world’s most important advertising market and plan to expand aggressively in that region over the coming years. This is the just one of many steps in strengthening our global marketing services proposition in a substantial way.”

Addressing the company’s strategy during COVID-19, Bartlett added: “The COVID-19 crisis has been the truest test of nimbleness and resilience for companies and their leaders – and Social Chain has proven that its new-age, end-to-end and diversified model of owning social media audiences, owning the marketing capabilities and owning the products, is a model capable of weathering even the most torrential storms. The crisis did impact our marketing services business but we implemented quick and significant cost-saving measures in order to limit the impact of the disruption and safeguard our team. We are now forecasting strong growth for Q3 and Q4.”

Wanja S. Oberhof, co-CEO of SOCIAL CHAIN, said: “We are currently in advanced negotiations to finalise further acquisitions and I am confident that we will be able to acquire additional revenue in the region of $105 million at favourable conditions this year. This would enable us to increase pro-forma consolidated revenues of SOCIAL CHAIN AG to over $300 million as early as 2020 and create a strong basis for further growth in 2021”.

Jason Akatiff, CEO and Founder of A4D, said: “I look forward to working together with SOCIAL CHAIN. With its integrated understanding of social, technology, creativity and brand management, the A4D team has found a new, inspiring and global home.”

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