Future accelerates Mobile Nations earnout payment

The Board of Future plc last week announced that it has accelerated the payment of earnouts to the management team of MoNa Mobile Nations.

Future accelerates Mobile Nations earnout payment
Zillah Byng-Thorne: “Mobile Nations has delivered a stellar performance since we acquired the business in March.”

Mobile Nations is digital publisher focused on consumer electronics based in the US that Future acquired in March 2019. This move recognises the achievement of certain financial targets ahead of the anticipated timeframe and will enable the businesses to work together to deliver additional benefits across the combined businesses, says Future.

Future acquired Mobile Nations for an initial cash consideration of $55 million with a further $5 million in new ordinary shares. In addition, a further variable deferred consideration up to a total value of $60 million was agreed, subject to meeting financial targets based on the year ending 31 March 2020.

With the attainment of the financial targets for the year ended March 2020 likely to be above the top end of earn out range, the parties have agreed to accelerate the earnout payment, based on assuming the achievement of $11.5 million Ebitda for the period. This has resulted in deferred consideration of $55 million becoming payable. It will be split equally between cash and the issuance of new shares in Future.

The cash will be paid on the 28 February 2020, and 1,792,534 new shares will be issued to management representing the balance of the payment (the “Consideration Shares”). The Consideration Shares will be subject to customary six month lock up apart from a requirement to pay taxes due in January 2020 arising from this issuance capped at 20%.

The management team of Mobile Nations says it is excited to continue to work with Future following the payment of the deferred consideration and Mobile Nations will be run within the newly created Future Labs division, which Marcus Adolfsson will lead. Future Labs is the newly created internal division which will work to enable a dedicated focus on internal innovation with the goal of integrating proven new initiatives, businesses, tools and processes into Future once they have reached a suitable level of maturity.

Mobile Nations is a global digital publisher focused on consumer electronics, combining content, community and commerce to deliver shopping enablement solutions, with its key brands including Android Central, iMore, Windows Central and Thrifter.

Zillah Byng-Thorne, CEO of Future, commented: “Mobile Nations has delivered a stellar performance since we acquired the business in March this year, significantly beating the targets that were set at the time of the acquisition. We have therefore decided to accelerate the earnout payments that are due to the management team so that the businesses can work together to deliver additional benefits across the Future group.

“The brands we acquired with Mobile Nations have substantially strengthened our market leading position in technology and deepened our presence in the US market. We are delighted that the team has committed to remain within Future to further leverage the complementary mix of content, community and commerce of the Mobile Nations brands, as we continue to expand our opportunities to monetise our significant US online audience.”

Marcus Adolfsson, SVP of Future Labs said: "The new Future Labs division will capture the entrepreneurial spirit that has made Mobile Nations successful, and we are excited to leverage Future’s scale to amplify the returns from our innovative products and services."

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