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EBiTDA regarding DoubleClick and Right Media

Posted by annplugged on May 2, 2007

There have been two big deals in the online media landscape show recently, namely DoubleClick has been bought by Google for approx. 10 x 300 mm USD, i.e. 10x the annual revenue, (or even 20x?) while Right Media has been bought by Yahoo for 12 x 70 mm USD, again 12 times the annual revenue.

DoubleClick going GoogleClick

According to Catherine Holahan, “In a call following the acquisition announcement, CEO Eric Schmidt characterized the deal as helping Google gain a greater foothold in the display advertising market. “It is accelerating our display advertising business,” said Schmidt. So far, search rival Yahoo! has been the main player in display advertising on the Web. Google’s display efforts to date, like its attempts to expand outside of search in general, have been marginally successful at best.” and “Paid search advertising will account for more than 40% of the $19.5 billion expected to go to online advertising this year, according to a Mar. 7 eMarketer report….

DoubleClick serves ads on both Time Warner’s AOL and News Corp.’s MySpace, two of the Web’s most popular properties. Google has the rights to provide search ads on both those sites—it bid aggressively to do so, agreeing to pay nearly $2 billion to both companies (“Google Gets Back into MySpace”). But if Microsoft had acquired DoubleClick, it could have had a competitive position at the two companies, jeopardizing Google’s expensive search agreements….To advertising industry executives, such as Gossman and Morgan, Microsoft’s unwillingness to pay such a price showed that the company isn’t as serious about the market as Google….But is a win worth $3.1 billion? It just may be—provided DoubleClick’s valuable clients are not scared away by the presence of the increasingly powerful Google. That’s a big if.”

Right, Yahoo, Media

“Yahoo bought a 20% stake in the company in October as part of a $45m investment and has now paid $680m for the remaining 80%,” says Jemima Kiss. VentureBeat‘s Matt Marshall said the acquisition could give Yahoo an advantage because Right Media is a more transparent system than Google’s AdSense. Shortly after the announcement to shareholders last night, Yahoo chief executive Terry Semel blogged that the acquisition is a key step in the company’s long-term vision.”

Healthier competition

““Advertisers don’t want a Wal-Mart-isation of digital advertising,” where one firm (like Wal-Mart in retailing) becomes so big that it can dictate prices, says Tom Chavez, the boss of Rapt, a firm that analyses online-advertising data on behalf of publishers and advertisers. That said, Mr Chavez adds, Google is still far from becoming a Wal-Mart—and even Wal-Mart is not facing an antitrust investigation.” (from Financial Express)

Fred Wilson is giving a possible calculation behind the ‘more than ten times phenomenon:’

“I believe that ultimately price needs to be factored as a function of EBITDA – earnings power.

  • It could be the present value of future cash flows,
  • it could be a mutiple of current EBITDA,
  • it could even be a multiple of the cash flow that a buyer believes it can get by merging the asset into its business.

So when I see online advertising assets trading at north of 10x revenues, it makes me think that it’s the latter factor at work.”

But what is EBITDA? Well it’s short for Earnings before Interest, Taxes, Depreciation, and Amortization, and it is exactly what its name says. The most simple way to get it, is to take away the total expenses from the total revenue, and add back the costs of Depriciation and Amortization.
But let’s see an example of EBITDA (source here), through the imaginary Jabberwockyboom Corporation Income Statement
(All figures are in thousands)

Creative works Revenue — $60,000
Room Revenue — $25,000
Entertainment Revenue — $7,000
Food & Beverage Revenue — $23,000
Total Revenue — $115,000

Creative works Expenses — $30,000
Room Expenses — $6,000
Entertainment Expenses — $5,000
Food & Beverage Expenses — $14,000
General & Administrative — $10,000
Depreciation & Amortization — $5,000
Total Expenses — $70,000

Operating Income = $115,000 – $70,000 = 45,000

Operating Income 45,000
– Interest Expense $12,000
Income from Continuing Operations=$33,000

Income from Continuing Operations
Before Income Taxes $33,000
– Income Taxes $8,000
Net Income $25,000

From this information, we can easily determine the EBITDA the Jabberwockyboom Corp. delivered in this particular quarter. To do so, we simply need to start with net income, and then add back interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization:

Net Income — $25,000

+ Interest — $12,000
+ Taxes — $8,000
+ Depreciation & Amortization — $5,000

EBITDA — $50,000

In this example, Jabberwockyboom Corp. posted EBITDA of $50 million in the most recent quarter.


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