Happy Wednesday, folks. Just dipping in to drop a quick update on a story some readers have been asking about:
Audioboom-Triton Digital Deal Taking Longer Than Expected
Back in February, the Financial Times reported on a $185 million deal between Audioboom, the UK podcast company, and Triton Digital, the US digital audio technology and advertising company. It’s a “reverse takeover,” a move typically deployed by a private company (in this case, Triton Digital, which is owned by the private equity group Vector Capital) to acquire a public company (Audioboom is listed on London’s alternative investment market) without having to go through the costly rigmarole of actually going public.
For all intents and purposes, it’s a merger between the two companies, as Audioboom CEO Rob Proctor told me in February, one that will give the previously UK-based podcast company more juice to operate within the US.
But the reverse takeover/merger process appears to be taking longer than expected. A reader recently flagged this announcement document, which shows that Audioboom has raised £1 million in convertible loan notes from Candy Ventures SARL — one of its main backers, owned by the British property tycoon Nick Candy — to cover short-term expenses until the proposed acquisition reaches a resolution. The document reads: “At this stage there can be no certainty that the Proposed Acquisition and the Acquisition Placing will complete. Furthermore, the structure and terms of the Proposed Acquisition and the Acquisition Placing will be different from those outlined in the announcement of 13 February 2018.” As a result of the stop-gap, the deal will end up being a little different from what was originally announcement, specifically as it pertains to valuation.
Given the sensitivities of being a public company, Audioboom couldn’t comment substantially on the development. But they still signaled confidence that the process will be wrapped up sometime between the next few days to the next few weeks.
As a reminder, Audioboom is nowadays a business-to-business podcast platform that does all the things you’d expect a standard podcast network to do: sell advertising for shows, provide technology and creative support, figure out marketing and distribution, etc. As a network, Audioboom is perhaps best known for its signing of Undisclosed, the Serial season one-adjacent podcast led by Rabia Chaudry that has since broadened out to cover other potential wrongful convictions, along with more recent shows like Mission to Zyxx and Night Call. Standing alone, it’s still running at a loss, and as such, the day-to-day operations of the business might encounter further turbulence the reserve takeover continues to play itself out.
It’s a tricky situation, yikes. You can read my original item on the matter here.
One more tidbit…
While I’m already in your inbox, I might as well drop this factoid unrelated to the previous story: Remember that piece from the Hollywood Reporter about the pod-to-TV trend, which contained the scooplet about IMG Original Content group — a sister to WME — having tapped Panoply’s Moses Soyoola to run a new audio division?
If you checked out the website for the Yale Podcast Conference that I produced last week, you might’ve noticed a little development on that: the new division is called “Endeavor Audio,” and Soyoola’s title is General Manager. He remains based in New York for the job.
It’s the little things, guys.