Sunday 5 January 2020 8:51 pm

Rupert Murdoch's News Corp to sell ad platform Unruly to Tremor

Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp will sell the video advertising company Unruly to advertising technology firm Tremor at a huge discount.

News Corp, which owns media brands such as the Times, Harper Collins, and Dow Jones, will receive a small stake in Tremor in return.

Read more: Murdoch gets green light for merger of the Times and Sunday Times

Sky News reported that the deal could be announced to the stock market on Monday morning.

Murdoch’s media empire paid £115m for Unruly in 2015, but the firm’s value has subsequently slumped.

The deal will also contain a provision for Tremor to become News Corp’s video partner for its newspapers, including US titles the Wall Street Journal and the New York Post.

It was reported that News UK’s chief executive, Rebekah Brooks, would join Tremor’s board as a non-executive director.

The appointment would be Brooks’ first on the board of a public company, and comes four years after returning to Murdoch’s media empire, having stepped down as an executive in the wake of the phone-hacking scandal in 2011.

The size of News Corp’s stake in Tremor was not yet known on Sunday evening, but sources told Sky News it could be around 10 per cent.

The deal will allow Murdoch’s company to continue to play a role in the digital advertising market through partial ownership of Tremor, which will expand its international coverage through the acquisition.

Unruly, which was founded in 2006, manages all of News Corp’s digital advertising, and struck partnerships with sites such as Formula1.com.

The platform boasts products such as Sharerank, a tool that can predict whether content will go viral on social media.

In August it was revealed that News Corp had hired bankers to explore options for Unruly after receiving several approaches for the content platform.

Read more: News Corp buys London adtech company Unruly Media

The sale process was later confirmed by News Corp chief executive Robert Thomson, who said he wanted to “simplify” the company.

Unruly’s current chief executive Norm Johnston is expected to remain in his role after the deal.

City A.M. has contacted News Corp and Tremor for comment.

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