NEW YORK, NY — Outbrain, the world’s leading discovery and native advertising platform on the open web, announced today that it has entered an agreement to acquire Ligatus, a fully owned subsidiary of Gruner + Jahr which is a Bertelsmann group company, in a stock deal. Founded in 2006, Outbrain’s native advertising technology powers the news, product & information feeds of the world’s most recognized publishers and channels including MSN, CNN, BBC, The Washington Post, The Guardian, Spiegel Online, El País and Sky News. The New York-based company is on a mission to create the most meaningful and trustworthy online discovery feeds connecting a person, channel and marketer.
 
“The acquisition of Ligatus is part of our market consolidation strategy and will allow us to expand our native offering to marketers and strengthen the relationship with our publisher partners,” said David Kostman, co-CEO of Outbrain. “By combining the sophisticated native advertising offering of Ligatus with Outbrain’s strong targeting technology and reach, the benefit for marketers, publishers and users will be a trustworthy feed of discovery that is powered with a strong underlying, non-interruptive advertising experience.”  
 
Ligatus is a leading European based native advertising solution provider with headquarters in Cologne, Germany and offices in Germany, France, Spain, Italy, Belgium and Netherlands. Ligatus’ solutions bring advertisers and publishers together through high-impact, non-intrusive native ad placements, leveraging a mobile-first native ad solution for marketers to build awareness and engagement with the right audiences. Delivering more than 37 billion ad impressions per month, Ligatus provides tailored and contextual advertising alongside publisher content in a multi-device format while guaranteeing brand safety. 
 
“We are excited to join ranks with Outbrain in order to create a true native advertising powerhouse,” said Klaus Ludemann, CEO of Ligatus. “This combination will create a win-win for our publishers and advertising partners by leveraging the combined strengths of our teams,” added Ludemann.
 
With the addition of the Ligatus premium publisher network, Outbrain will expand and strengthen its position in Europe with over 1,400 premium publishers, including STERN, RTL and Femme Actuelle. Ligatus offers Publishers a powerful native Supply Side Platform (SSP) along with consulting services, to generate the best revenues coming from high-quality brands and helps Marketers reach, engage and convert their target audience with advanced dynamic algorithms. Ligatus delivers more than 37 billion ad impressions per month in over 1,400 Premium partner sites in ten countries.
 
“This transaction will grow Outbrain’s footprint in new European markets that are key and open a premium group of Gruner + Jahr and Bertelsmann publishers to our advertisers,” added Kostman.
 
“We are thrilled to become shareholders in Outbrain, the most premium discovery platform globally, and happy to announce that Arne Wolter, Chief Digital Officer of Gruner + Jahr, will join the board of directors of Outbrain,” said Julia Jaekel, CEO of Gruner + Jahr. “I believe this is a very positive development for premium publishers looking to engage loyal users, increase revenues and ensure a high quality user experience,” added Jaekel.
 
The acquisition is subject to certain regulatory and other approvals and is expected to close by the second quarter of 2019.