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Triton Digital and audioBoom announce merger to create preeminent online audio technology company

Today, Triton Digital®, a leading technology and services provider to the digital audio industry, announced a planned merger with UK-based podcast network and technology provider audioBoom, in which Triton Digital will combine with AudioBoom Group PLC, the corporate structure by which the British podcast platform company is traded on the London Stock Exchange.

Upon completion of the deal, the combined company will operate under the name Triton Digital Group PLC, with an integrated team, brand, and product offering.

The Triton Digital executive team will move unaltered into leadership of Triton Digital Group, with roles and titles unchanged:

  • President and CEO: Neal Schore
  • President, Market Development: John Rosso
  • Executive VP and CFO: Mark Rosenbaum
  • SVP, Product and Technology: Alex Fournier
  • EVP, Human Resources: Micheline Sebbag

In addition, Rob Proctor, current CEO of audioBoom, will join the Triton Digital Group executive team as Managing Director of the audioBoom business unit.

In an exclusive interview with RAIN News, Neal Schore explained that the two companies have been discussing the possibility of a merger over the past several years, with the deal gaining traction this past December.  With a refined vision for the global audio marketplace and a renewed focus on growth and leadership, the time was right for Triton Digital to move forward with this opportunity.

For Triton Digital, this merger marks the second significant capital event in three years. The company was acquired in March of 2015 by private equity firm Vector Capital. (Triton’s parent company before that was Oaktree Capital Management.) At that time, Neal Schore lauded Vector’s “strategic contribution and financial resources.” Schore continued to praise Vector when discussing the audioBoom merger, saying “We have truly enjoyed and appreciate our relationship with Vector Capital. They are fantastic and supportive partners.”

The acquisition by Vector resulted in some degree of staff restructuring that is typical of M&A deals. However, the audioBoom merger does not foretell any impact on employees, a point that Schore emphasized. “The combination will not impact current employees of Triton Digital or audioBoom,” he said. “We are not looking for consolidation to save money. This merger will enable the combined company to enhance growth, accelerate innovation, expand our team, and pursue M&A opportunities across the globe.”

Neal Schore noted that Triton has historically been acquisitive over its 12-year history, although it has been quiet in recent years. “We are planning to go back to our roots of proactive M&A activity,” Schore told us, “with a focus on our core technology competencies. We will continue to invest heavily in both on-demand and podcasting, in addition to expanding our podcast and streaming audio analytics business, infrastructure for streaming audio, advertising tools, and more.”

Several times during the conversation, the Triton Digital CEO referred to expanded resources for both sides of the combined company, and an acceleration of strategic enterprise. “We’re proud of our position in the marketplace.  We feel an enormous sense of responsibility to continuously innovate, and to drive monetization opportunities. Our clients can expect us to not only maintain our leadership position, but to have the resources and the team to expand our technology and services meaningfully.”

Expansion and acceleration set the tone for this announcement, both to the public and to employees. In an information sheet for employees, a 1+1=3 attitude prevails: “This is a tremendous growth opportunity for the combined group.  This combination enables the newly formed group to expand its global footprint, grow its development and client-facing teams, and increase its investment in podcast technology.”

In Neal Schore’s thinking, this inflection point represents a milestone in the development of the online audio market, which partly drives the merger rationale. “The time is now to start moving even faster,” Schore said. “We are driven not only by our readiness to help our clients grow revenue, but by the evolution of the digital audio marketplace to a point where audience is building and revenue is flowing in the ad-supported world, fueled by the massive growth of mobile and other connected devices.”

The transaction is expected to close in late March or early April.

 

Brad Hill

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