Financial News

  • 27 June 2014, 10:17

Yahoo And Chernin Vie For YouTube Partner

The internet giant Yahoo is vying to win control of Fullscreen, a media group which creates content for thousands of YouTube channels, amid a landgrab for key digital audiences.

Sky News understands Yahoo has lodged a bid worth approximately $250m for Fullscreen, one of a group of fast-growing media groups attracting increasing attention from advertisers keen to connect with young consumers.

The company is understood to generate more than 3bn monthly video views, and boasts more than 300m subscribers around the world.

Yahoo is said to face competition to buy Fullscreen from rivals including The Chernin Group, an investment vehicle established by Peter Chernin, a former News Corporation executive.

AOL, the digital content group, and Comcast, the US cable operator, are also said to have been interested in making offers but are seen as less likely bidders, insiders said on Thursday.

Fullscreen, which is based in California, was founded in 2011 by George Strompolos, a co-creator of a YouTube initiative which creates content for advertising partners.

It has grown rapidly, as marketers have sought ways of remaining connected to lucrative youth audiences, but has struggled to become profitable.

In June last year, WPP, the FTSE-100 marketing services group, invested millions of pounds in Fullscreen as part of a fundraising by the company.

The Chernin Group and Comcast Ventures also became shareholders at the time, and the former News Corp executive is understood to have the right to buy Fullscreen at a previously-agreed price if other bidders do not offer at least $300m.

A deal between Fullscreen and one of the interested media groups remains uncertain.

However, if one does happen, it would underline the growing interest in takeovers of young content creators.

Sky News revealed earlier this month that Time Warner is in talks to acquire a stake in Vice Media which would value the maverick digital group at more than $2bn.

Since then, Discovery Communications, 21st Century Fox and the Walt Disney Company have also expressed an interest in a deal with Vice, sources said.

Yahoo declined to comment.

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