Nasdaq to acquire Marketwired

Nasdaq said Friday morning that the deal, subject to customary approvals, will make it a global leader in news release distribution.

By Luis Villa del Campo from Madrid, Spain - Times Square - NASDAQ, CC BY 2.0
By Luis Villa del Campo from Madrid, Spain - Times Square - NASDAQ, CC BY 2.0

NEW YORK: Nasdaq has agreed to acquire press-release-distribution platform Marketwired, the financial services company said Friday morning. 

The deal will enhance Nasdaq’s corporate services and product suite by adding Marketwired’s media analytics and targeting capabilities, the companies said Friday morning in a statement.

The deal will be funded through a mix of debt and cash on hand. If it passes customary conditions, it should close in the first quarter of this year. The addition of Marketwired will be reflected in Nasdaq’s earnings within 12 months of the deal closing.

The companies said in a statement that the acquisition will make the combined entity a "leader in global distribution of new releases" by bringing together Nasdaq’s distribution services and Marketwired’s social media targeting and monitoring.

Nasdaq executives said in a statement that the deal will benefit communicators.  

"This transaction is a testament to our commitment to growing this business and delivering the most innovative communications tools and intelligence to our corporate solutions clients across the investor relations and PR solutions suite," Adena Friedman, president and COO of Nasdaq, said in the statement.

Marketwired rebranded from Marketwire in April 2013, to reflect its shift to a more social-media-oriented company. A month earlier, it partnered with Cision in a deal that gave users access to a wider distribution network, 24-hour editorial support, and analytics.

"This is a major opportunity for our corporate solutions business to enhance its end-to-end portfolio of services for communications professionals, including news distribution, media research, social media, and analytics," said Stacie Swanstrom, SVP and head of corporate solutions at Nasdaq.

Financial terms of the deal or details about the leadership structure that will result from it were not disclosed.  

It is the second major newswire deal in the past two months. In mid-December, Cision agreed to acquire PR Newswire from UBM for $841 million in its latest in a series of deals. That acquisition is also expected to close this quarter.

Since fall 2014, Cision has been on an acquisition spree, snapping up companies such as Viralheat, Visible Technologies, and media and intelligence and data insight specialist Gorkana Group. The companies formerly known as Cision and Vocus combined under the former’s brand in October 2014.

Earlier this year, Nasdaq also rolled out the latest generation of its IR program, known as IR Insight. It replaced the Thomson One Investor Relations platform, which Nasdaq inherited from Thomson Reuters when it bought the company’s IR, PR, and multimedia solutions business in 2013.

A year ago, social intelligence provider Sysomos separated from Marketwired and tapped former Microsoft executive Lindsay Sparks as its CEO. Sysomos was founded in 2007 and acquired in 2012 by Marketwired.

Last summer, news-release-distribution services including Business Wire, Marketwired, and PR Newswire were the target of an elaborate scheme in which hackers and traders gained access to statements on not-yet-public mergers and acquisitions to trade on insider information.

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