Bango Plc / NHN Corporation
Cavendish Corporate Finance (“Cavendish”), the UK’s leading sell-side specialist M&A firm and part of finnCap Group, has advised Bango plc (“Bango”) on strategic investments from South Korean online technology conglomerate NHN Corporation (“NHN”).
The transactions see NHN make a majority investment in Bango Deep, the holding company for the Audiens Customer Data Platform business, and make a separate strategic minority investment directly into Bango plc via a subscription of new shares.
Audiens, which was acquired by mobile commerce company Bango in 2018, offers customers a simple-to-use yet technologically sophisticated Customer Data Platform that enables brands of all sizes to plan, execute and analyse their online marketing activities.
The strategic investments allow Audiens to leverage NHN’s in-depth data science and technology know-how to enrich its product suite on a global basis, whilst also facilitating the expansion of NHN’s channel to global customers beyond South Korea.
The transactions followed a focused process run by Cavendish to review strategic options for the Audiens business and showcases finnCap Group’s end-to-end solution given close collaboration between the Cavendish M&A and finnCap public markets teams.
The Cavendish team was led by Jon Edirmanasinghe, Partner and Chris Malcolm, Director with the finnCap team being led by Marc Milmo, Director.
Jon Edirmanasinghe, Partner commented:
“The investments into both Bango Deep and Bango plc represent a transformational expansion of the partnership with NHN which will provide wider collaboration opportunities between the companies.
The transactions demonstrate our tech sector expertise, our ability to complete complex cross-border transactions and our ability to complete transactions in difficult macro-economic environments.”
Ray Anderson, Executive Chairman at Bango plc commented:
“NHN has a fantastic growth story and a history of first-mover innovation which, coupled with the existing data platform know-how at Audiens, will enable us to create a powerful force for technology leadership in online commerce.”
JS Lee, Director at NHN Corp commented:
“Together we will create a global leader in data technology. The NHN strategy is to partner with global leaders to take our research and technology to the world. We are privileged to enter into this strategic partnership with Bango, which has built a unique position at the heart of global mobile commerce for the 21st century.”
App developers, stores and payment providers cross the threshold into the Bango ecosystem to converge, grow and thrive. By bringing businesses together and powering e-commerce with unique data-driven insights, Bango delivers new business opportunities and new dimensions of growth for customers around the world. Being inside the Bango circle means global merchants including Amazon (NASDAQ: AMZN), Google (NASDAQ: GOOG) and Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT) can work together with payment partners from Africa to the Americas, accelerating the performance of everyone on the inside.
NHN headquartered in Seoul, South Korea, operates a wide range of businesses which include financial technology, data and advertising technology, entertainment content and cloud services.
Founded in 1999, it rapidly became a market leader mobile gaming and entertainment. NHN then launched domestic and international payment solutions for both online and retail ecommerce, which has expanded across Asia and into North America. Based on a vast and growing user behaviour database, and expertise in user analysis and data modelling, NHN has expanded into data technology and mobile marketing products.
We made absolutely the right choice in appointing Cavendish. Michael Jewell and the team were instrumental in getting us the deal we wanted. I would have no hesitation in recommending them to anyone thinking about a sales process.
Cavendish introduced us to GE and managed the negotiation and coordinated the transaction due diligence. Their involvement was instrumental to the deal being successful.
When looking for an advisor we decided we wanted someone who had specific experience in negotiating within the Private Equity space. It requires some additional skills to those needed in a trade sale and we were lucky to have found in Cavendish, a company that was able to help us.
This marks a significant opportunity for our partners, customers and people as we become part of the global Kyocera family and continue the journey we started back in 1988. When looking for an advisor we wanted someone with an international network and experience of working with buyers both here and overseas. Cavendish had the expertise to facilitate the transaction and the support they provided was invaluable.
The Cavendish team, led by Nick Jones, did an excellent job managing the process and ensuring the smooth closing of the transaction in a timely manner. They were always professional and aligned with our shareholder goals – many thanks to the whole team.
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