In one of ad tech’s more curious incidents this year, Ycor threw its hat into the ring earlier this month for the sell-off of the Sizmek ad server and dynamic creative optimization business after Amazon announced it agreed to buy the assets in the Chapter 11 proceedings. But now the has pulled out of the auction.
While Ycor-backed Weborama announced it had topped Amazon’s promised bid in the sale proceedings on June 7, the online retail giant has since placed more money on the table, according to papers filed in a New York court earlier today.
Ycor and Weborama resigned from the auction. The papers state that “Amazon has entered into a lock-up letter with Cerberus, precluding Cerberus from supporting any other bid.”
No final sale price is mentioned in the documents—sources have speculated the sale may have been in the range of $30 million to $50 million—nor do they confirm any potential sale of Sizmek’s assets to Amazon.
Although, the papers state that Ycor was willing to raise its offer by up to $15 million and that private equity company Cerberus, Sizmek’s secured creditor, is likely to receive at least an additional $7.5 million compared with its initially agreed sum.
“Neither management nor their financial advisor were willing to meet with Ycor to make it possible for it to understand various matters,” the documents say. “It was made perfectly clear that management had selected their preferred bidder and they would not make it possible for Ycor to compete on a level playing field. … With regret, Ycor has concluded that it would simply be too risky to bid in the dark any further, and it will not continue to participate in the sale process.”
Sources with knowledge of the situation noted that certain Sizmek leaders had been attempting to negotiate positions at Amazon’s burgeoning ad-tech business after they agreed on a sale price a number of weeks ago.
Several other independent ad-tech outfits were also understood to be in the running for Sizmek’s ad server and assets after the sell-off of its demand-side and data management platform assets to Zeta Global in an estimated $36 million deal.
The news comes after it was reported that the remaining arm of Sizmek, its contextual targeting business Peer39, was to be spun off with Mario Diez at the helm/ Sources noted that private equity interests had also been in the running during the sell-off process.