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AOL Nabs Millennial Media

Looking to broaden its mobile-focused programmatic ad platform, AOL said it has inked a deal to acquire mobile advertising specialist Millennial Media.

AOL said the deal, for $1.75 per share of Millennial Media common stock, will give it a supply-side platform for app monetization and add more than 65,000 apps to its suite of publisher offerings, and bring more mobile ad scale to the ONE by AOL, its unified multiscreen digital ad platform.

The deal, valued at almost $250 million, represents a 31% premium, as Millennial shares closed Wednesday at $1.34 per share. Shares of Millennial Media were up 39 cents (29.10%), to $1.73 per share in pre-market trading Thursday.

Via the acquisition, AOL said it will also have access to roughly 1 billion active unique users globally and expand its cross-screen targeting capabilities and broaden its reach to international markets such as Singapore, Japan, the U.K., France and Germany.

The deal also comes on the heels of Verizon’s acquisition of AOL, giving the carrier a slate of online video content and programmatic ad systems that are expected to play a big role in go90, Verizon’s coming “mobile-first” video offering.

 “As we continue to invest in our platforms and technology, the acquisition of Millennial Media accelerates our competitive mobile offering in ONE by AOL and enhances our current publisher offering with an ‘all in’ monetization platform for app developers,” AOL president Bob Lord said, in a statement.

"By joining AOL, we will be adding additional mobile expertise to AOL's growing technology assets,” added Michael Barrett, president and CEO of Millennial Media.

Founded in 2006, Millennial Media is headquartered in Baltimore, Md., with U.S. offices in Atlanta, Boston, New York and San Francisco, and international offices in Hamburg, London, Paris, Singapore and Tokyo. Millennial Media has built up its own portfolio through acquisitions spanning of TapMetrics, Condaptive, Metaresolver, Jumptap and Nexage.

Millennial Media will become a wholly owned subsidiary of AOL when the deal is closed sometime this fall.