Acquisition to Significantly Expand Comscore’s Footprint in Latin America
RESTON, VA, October 29, 2009 – Comscore, Inc. (NASDAQ: SCOR), a leader in measuring the digital world, today announced entry into a definitive agreement for the acquisition of Certifica, a leader in web measurement in Latin America. The acquisition helps enhance Comscore’s presence and brand in the rapidly-developing Latin American market and positions the company for further expansion in the region.
Based in Santiago, Chile, Certifica has offices throughout Latin America, including Mexico, Brazil, Argentina, Colombia and Peru. The company was founded in 2000 with the goal of becoming the leading analyst and auditor of Internet traffic measurement and has won the endorsement of the IAB in several Latin American countries to publish cross site statistics on Internet usage. The sites measured by Certifica will be available for inclusion (on an opt-in basis) in Comscore’s MMX 360 hybrid measurement solution, which combines panel-based audience measurement data and Web site analytics data to provide a more comprehensive view of activity, beginning in early 2010. The enhanced methodology will account for the full universe of Internet usage, including traffic from Internet cafes and mobile devices.
Under the direction of Alejandro Fosk, founder and former CEO of Certifica and now SVP and General Manager of Comscore Latin America, Comscore plans to sell and service the full suite of Comscore products in the region.
“We are very excited to be joining forces with Certifica. Alejandro and his team have established a strong local presence, a high quality portfolio of services, and an excellent reputation for client service,” said Linda Abraham, Comscore CMO and EVP of Global Product Management. “Latin America currently represents 9 percent of the world’s population, and although the Internet penetration there is relatively low compared to some other parts of the world, it is growing at a rapid pace, presenting growth opportunities for many advertisers and publishers. With 57 percent of the population under the age of 25, Latin America also owns the title of ‘the youngest continent’ and represents a sophisticated, engaged and connected Internet user base. This acquisition will strengthen our presence in the region and enable us to offer hybrid measurement as part of our MMX 360 initiative using the same state-of-the-art measurement technologies we use elsewhere in the world. We warmly welcome our Certifica colleagues into the Comscore team.”
“Comscore is an ideal partner to leverage Certifica’s existing expertise in Latin America and provide the market with a more comprehensive digital measurement platform that will promote the growth of the online advertising market,” said Alejandro Fosk, founder and former CEO of Certifica. “We are excited that Certifica’s clients will have access to Comscore’s robust reporting platform, which will enable them to understand the complete digital landscape and lead to new ways to optimize their digital marketing strategies.”
Comscore does not expect the acquisition to have a material impact on 2009 financial results.
Latin America Digital Media Industry Voices Support for Acquisition
“At a moment where the Latin American market is experiencing an inflection point far beyond other markets of the world, we are very pleased to see the entrance of Comscore sided with a local player such as Certifica. Terra has a local presence in 18 markets in Latam and US Hispanics and understands the importance of ‘glocal’,” said Paulo Castro General Manager of Terra Brazil and former Chairman of IAB Brazil.
“The union of Certifica and Comscore is certainly a positive development for the Latin American digital marketplace,” said Nicolas Berman, Marketing Director of MercadoLibre (NASDAQ:MELI). “Bringing together these leading companies to provide Latin America with a unified digital measurement capability will give the industry the comprehensive view of consumer behavior that will facilitate the allocation of marketing and advertising budgets online.”
“The Comscore-Certifica merger represents a natural fit in bringing together leaders in panel-based audience measurement data and website analytics data,” said Rodrigo Donoso, Head of Digital Media at El Mercurio Publishing Group, part of GDA. “Their combined offering will give the Latin American marketplace the premier digital measurement platform that will bring us closer to having a true measurement currency in the market.”
“I believe that this alliance represents a big progress for Latin America´s digital industry. For the development of the online advertisement market, it is fundamental to rely on trusted metrics that will allow us to prove our clients the effectiveness of their campaigns, and this is what Certifica and comscore are bringing to the market with this alliance,” said Fernando Campos, General Director of New Media at TV Azteca.
Comscore, Inc. (NASDAQ: SCOR) is a global leader in measuring the digital world and preferred source of digital marketing intelligence. In an independent survey of 800 of the most influential publishers, advertising agencies and advertisers conducted by William Blair & Company in January 2009, Comscore was rated the “ most preferred online audience measurement service” by 50% of respondents, a full 25 points ahead of its nearest competitor. Comscore’s capabilities are based on a massive, global cross-section of approximately 2 million Internet users who have given Comscore permission to confidentially capture their browsing and transaction behavior, including online and offline purchasing. Comscore panelists also participate in survey research that gathers and integrates their attitudes and intentions. Using its proprietary technology, Comscore measures what matters across a broad spectrum of digital behavior and attitudes, helping clients design more powerful marketing strategies that deliver superior ROI. With its recent acquisition of M:Metrics, Comscore is also a leading source of data on mobile usage. Comscore services are used by more than 1,200 clients, including global leaders such as AOL, Microsoft, Yahoo!, BBC, Carat, Cyworld, Deutsche Bank, France Telecom, Best Buy, The Newspaper Association of America, Financial Times, ESPN, Fox Sports, Nestle, Starcom, Universal McCann, the United States Postal Service, the University of Chicago, Verizon Services Group and ViaMichelin.
Cautionary Note Regarding Forward-Looking Statements
This release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933 and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, including, but not limited to, Comscore’s expectations regarding the impact and benefits of the acquisition of Certifica, financial or otherwise; Comscore’s expectations regarding the growth, opportunities and favorability of the Latin American market; and Comscore’s expectations as to the integration of Certifica’s products and customer base with its existing products, including MMX 360, and customer base. These statements involve risks and uncertainties that could cause our actual results to differ materially, including, but not limited to: the impact of integrating Certifica’s resources on Comscore’s existing methodology; the possibility that the Latin American advertising and eCommerce markets do not grow and develop as expected; Comscore’s ability to retain customers of Certifica; the impact of changes in foreign currencies on Comscore’s financial results; the risk of integration difficulties from the acquisition of Certifica; Comscore’s ability to grow its existing customer base and develop new products; the expected strength of Comscore’s business and client demand for Comscore’s products; the future quality of client relationships and resulting renewal rates; expectations of customer growth; and expectations of international sales growth.
For a detailed discussion of these and other risk factors, please refer to Comscore’s Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q for the period ended June 30, 2009, Annual Report on Form 10-K for the period ended December 31, 2008 and from time to time other filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”), which are available on the SEC’s Web site ( http://www.sec.gov).
Stockholders of Comscore are cautioned not to place undue reliance on our forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date such statements are made. Comscore does not undertake any obligation to publicly update any forward-looking statements to reflect events, circumstances or new information after the date of this press release, or to reflect the occurrence of unanticipated events.
Daddi Brand Communications