Wasserman backs digital media hub for further acquisitions

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Wasserman has backed Cycle Media, a digital hub comprised of a media network called Cycle and a marketing firm called Laundry Service. Wasserman is providing Cycle Media with $150 million in funding for the company’s “initial phase of acquisitions.”

Cycle Media is a New York-based media holding company that houses Cycle, an digital media network targeted towards millennials, and full-service marketing agency Laundry Service. Cycle averages approximately 250 million views each month, according to the company, while Laundry Service was recognized as an A-List company with a “robust client roster” by Ad-Age in 2017.

“As the media and advertising industries continue to converge, businesses must demonstrate excellence in both categories to find success in either,” states Cycle Media founder Jason Stein. Cycle Media has hired Jason Kelly as chief strategy officer to scale the business through both organic and acquisition-driven opportunities. Kelly helped facilitate the sale of Millennial Media to AOL Inc. (NYSE: AOL), among other deals.

Founded in 2002, Wasserman is a talent management and marketing agency comprised of media creators, developers and celebrity influencers. Headquartered in Los Angeles, the firm also has operations in London, Miami, New York, Portland, Brazil, Dubai and Toronto.

Media M&A is striking hot and expected to heat up even more, as technology disrupting traditional distribution and consumption habits grabs the interest of investors. The middle market has seen its fair share of media and marketing deals as well, including: Sinclair Broadcast Group Inc.’s (Nasdaq: SBGI) purchase of Tribune Media Co. (NYSE: TRCO) for about $3.9 billion; media billionaire Rupert Murdoch’s, through his company 21st Century Fox Inc., deal to acquire European pay-TV provider Sky Plc for nearly $14.6 billion; American Media Inc.’s agreement to buy Us Weekly from Wenner Media LLC; Moore Frères & Company’s completed purchase of Opera TV for its over-the-top (OTT) video streaming software; AMC Networks’ $65 million investment in RLJ Entertainment Inc. (Nasdaq: RLJE), a company backed BET founder Robert L. Johnson; Walt Disney Co.’s (NYSE: DIS) agreement to buy a stake in the video-streaming unit of MLB Advanced Media called BAMtech; Multimedia Platforms Inc.'s purchase of Next Magazine; and Southern Cross Group's acquisition of Grupo Expansion, one of Mexico's largest magazine publishers, from Time Inc. (NYSE: TIME).

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