Rev Asia to acquire iMedia in all stock deal

  • Acquisition worth up to US$9.7mil, depending on iMedia’s 2021 net profit
  • Reunites parties which sold digital media startup to Media Prima in 2017

Patrick Grove, director and a major shareholder of Rev Asia Bhd reunites with Voon Tze Khay by acquiring Voon's digital media company, iMedia, in which he also has a 60% stake, in an all stock purchase.

Rev Asia Bhd today announced that, subject to approvals, it has agreed to acquire iMedia, a Malaysian digital media company focusing on content, technology and social influencer marketing.

iMedia owns and represents some digital properties which have a combined reach of over 8 million Malaysians monthly.  iMedia clients include some of the largest tech companies in the region such as Shopee (SEA Group), iQiyi (Baidu), Foodpanda, Huawei and top global brands such as McDonald’s, L'Oréal, Fonterra and Mercedes.

According to a statement from Rev Asia, iMedia is expected to make over US$724,000 (RM3 million) in net profit after tax in 2021, which would see a total acquisition price of US$9.7 million (RM40 million) if the net profit is achieved.

Reflecting their confidence and commitment to building a leading digital media group, the founders of iMedia, including, Voon Tze Khay who is also the CEO, are taking the entire consideration in shares in Rev Asia.

Rev Asia notes that iMedia is positioned to capitalise on the digital advertising spend market in Malaysia and other key SEA markets. Nielsen Malaysia recently reported that digital advertising spend in Malaysia from January to May 2020 exceeded RM430 million, accounting for more than 22% of total advertising spend in the country. This is set to continue to grow as businesses place even more effort on the digitisation of advertising and e-commerce efforts in a post-pandemic world.

“There are hundreds of independent digital media and advertising businesses in Malaysia that would be better under one unified roof where they can share technology, data, content, sales teams and clients. We aim to be that single digital home for Malaysian digital media properties. We are looking to invest in or acquire numerous companies in this exact space in both Malaysia and then across the region,” says Voon.

He adds that iMedia’s social influencer platform was built in Malaysia, and powers influencer campaigns across the top 1,000 influencers in the country.

As part of Rev Asia, the access to capital markets and liquidity is expected to allow the company to accelerate its acquisition and growth plans, while keeping a strong focus on profitability.

Larry Gan, chairman of Rev Asia declared himself “extremely excited” to work with Tze Khay again. “In our last venture together, we built the largest independent digital media group in Malaysia in three years and sold it successfully to Media Prima Bhd (in May 2017)."

That company was Rev Asia Holdings Sdn Bhd which was then a 70% owned subsidiary of Rev Asia Bhd (Youth Asia Sdn Bhd owned the remainder 30%) which owned a number of digital media properties in entertainment, lifestyle and social-millennial English, Malay and Chinese news. The acquisition price was RM105 million. Rev Asia Holdings registered revenue and profit after tax of RM23.5 million and RM4.2 million for the financial year ending 31 December 2016, representing a growth of 32 and 27 per cent respectively compared to the previous financial year.

[Ed: Para edited for accuracy.]

"This time, with an even bigger digital market, I believe we have the opportunity to build a company worth significantly greater in an even shorter period of time. This acquisition brings our know-how and expertise together with iMedia’s entrepreneurial team under the Rev Asia banner. We aim to be the home for all digital media entrepreneurs of Malaysia,” adds Patrick Grove, Director and a major shareholder.

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