April 25, 2011, 10:03 AM

ValueClick buys mobile ad network Greystripe

The owner of Commission Junction pays $70 million for the company.

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Online marketing services company ValueClick Inc. said today it has bought Greystripe Inc., a mobile advertising network. ValueClick says it paid $70 million in cash for Greystripe, which becomes a wholly owned subsidiary of ValueClick. Greystripe’s managers and employees will work for their new parent company.

ValueClick also owns affiliate network Commission Junction and online ad network ValueClick Media. Greystripe’s network provides mobile ads to more than 30 million consumers.

“Greystripe accelerates ValueClick's move up the marketing funnel with brand advertisers and gives ValueClick Media immediate scale and expertise in the large and fast-growing mobile ad market," says Jim Zarley, CEO of ValueClick. "We see great traffic and revenue synergies between ValueClick and Greystripe, and we're looking forward to working closely with the Greystripe team to take full advantage of the opportunities that this combination offers."

"Greystripe should accelerate ValueClick’s online advertising," says Colin Sebastian, an analyst at Lazard Capital Markets who follows e-commerce. "Value Click has not yet participated meaningfully in mobile, which is the fastest growing segment of online advertising."

Last year, advertisers spent between $550 million and $650 million on ads specifically designed for and delivered through mobile devices, including smartphones and tablets, according to the Interactive Advertising Bureau’s Internet Advertising Revenue Report, released earlier this month. That was the first time the trade group estimated mobile ad spend, though the report did not breaking out the spending by ad type.

ValueClick said it expects Greystripe to account for between $24 million and $26 million of revenue for 2011. ValueClick today also said that its first quarter revenue was $116.5 million, according to preliminary financial results, up 21.7% from $95.7 million for the same period last year.  ValueClick is scheduled to report final first quarter results May 3.

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