Viggle acquisition not happening, says GetGlue

By Cory Bergman 

Updated: Back in November, Viggle announced it was acquiring GetGlue for $25 million in cash and 48.3 million shares of stock, forming a social TV powerhouse. But there was a condition: $60 million in new financing from an investor, yet to be announced. The goal was to close the new financing round in December, but a new SEC filing this month revealed the two companies were “discussing an extension of such date and other potential modifications.”

Then, just as the Golden Globes were set to get underway on Sunday night, a GetGlue blog post revealed the deal was off.

“Today we’ve decided that GetGlue will not be merging with Viggle. The two companies remain friendly and think highly of each other,” explained Alex Iskold, CEO of GetGlue. “We are moving forward as an independent company, and all of us at GetGlue are excited about growing our social network and the leadership position on the second screen.”

A TechCrunch story last week reported that Viggle CEO Robert Sillerman was fronting more cash to support the venture. “Viggle seems to be burning cash at an alarming rate. Viggle had just $1.7 million in revenues through November, while spending $32.6 million on operations,” TechCrunch’s Ryan Lawyer wrote.

Monday morning, Viggle issued a short comment confirming the merger agreement with GetGlue was “terminated.”

“During the time we started talking to GetGlue about an acquisition and since the merger agreement was signed in November, we have seen impressive growth in our business. We are pleased with this positive moomentum,” Robert F.X. Sillerman, Executive Chairman and CEO of Viggle, said in a statement, adding that the termination of the agreement was cordial. “We wish GetGlue and Alex all the best.”

GetGlue’s Iskold is also confident about his company’s growth position. “We have a strong product and partnership pipeline for 2013, and look forward to delighting our users and expanding the relationships with major networks, studios and brands,” wrote Iskold. “GetGlue is a widely recognized brand and a product that is loved by millions of people.”

Shortly after the acquisition was announced, Viggle was eager to leverage both companies to gain an edge on the social TV market. “The two teams will begin working on plans to take the best off each other’s products, features, technologies and partnerships and build great experiences for consumers,” Viggle President and COO Greg Consiglio told us, stopping short of answering whether both brands would remain standalone destinations. “Our commitment is to our users and future users building great consumer experiences. We think each platform does great things for consumers that the other does not currently. Bringing that all together into one company is very exciting.”

Whether the split was purely financial in nature — or driven from a desire for both companies to retain their independence — is unclear. While one of second screen’s biggest deals is off, it’s safe to predict that consolidation in this competitive space is still on the horizon.