L90 to Buy Doubleclick’s Media Business

NEW YORK — Continuing the divestiture of its media operations, DoubleClick is selling its North American media business to L90 in a stock-and-cash transaction.

Expected to close this month, the deal calls for L90 to purchase the unit for $5 million in cash and 4.8 million shares, currently valued at $3.6 million. DoubleClick can also receive an additional $6 million in the future contingent upon certain performance goals being met.

DoubleClick’s sell off of its North American media business fits the New York-based company’s strategy to focus on its technology and data marketing products and services. To this end, DoubleClick sold its European media business in November to AdLINK and its @plan audience measurement tool in May to NetRatings, a subsidiary of Adweek parent VNU [IQ Daily Briefing, May 6].

With the purchase, L90 will change its name to MaxWorldwide and will relocate from Los Angeles to New York. The acquisition is a part of the company’s play to secure leadership positions in its online and offline direct marketing businesses. Mitchell Cannold, L90’s recently appointed president and CEO, will retain that title at the new company.

This is the second deal in eight months for the two online ad firms; Last October, DoubleClick bought L90’s technology assets and L90 agreed to use DoubleClick’s ad-serving technology for five years.

Upon closing, DoubleClick will hold a 16-percent stake in the new company and chairman Kevin O’Connor will join MaxWorldwide’s board of directors. Also, two executives from DoubleClick’s media management team will join MaxWorldwide: Bill Wise as evp and Melissa Ashley as svp of national sales and publishing.

MaxWorldwide’s Nasdaq symbol will become MAXW the first day following the deal’s closing. Its stock [LNTY] was down 18 cents Monday to 76 cents, a new 52-week low. Its 52-week high is $2.63. DoubleClick stock [DCLK] was trading on the Nasdaq at $6.40 Monday, down 85 cents. Its 52-week high is $14.23 and 52-week low is $5.23.