Limelight Networks acquires ad firm EyeWonder for $110M

Limelight Networks is closing the year with a bang, paying some $110 million in cash and stock to acquire online adverting company EyeWonder. The 10-year-old, Atlanta-based interactive digital advertising agency currently is projected to service $500 million in media spending globally in 2009.

CEO and co-founder John Vincent said Limelight and EyeWonder's history of working together in the past will help them "create unique and independent service offerings that will deliver exceptional value to our clients and partners. Today's announcement represents the next step in the growth and success of online advertising and in realizing the vision EyeWonder was founded with ten years ago."

The privately-help company has had a number of innovations in the online advertising industry, including a homepage takeover ad -- Page Morph -- that made it appear that the original web page was being actively pushed aside by the full-screen online ad sequence. The company said PageMorph helped hold readers on a page for up to a minute or more.

EyeWonder has been growing. It reported 2008 revenues increased 67 percent from the previous year, but had expected tighter revenue lines in 2009 as the global recession tightened spending.

The continued shift from traditional to online advertising, and especially video advertising, apparently was too alluring for Limelight's leadership to pass up.

"Limelight and EyeWonder bring together deep technical and operational skills for creating a brilliant online experience anywhere, on any device, and the ability to help advertisers and publishers monetize that experience," said Jeff Lunsford, chairman and chief executive officer, Limelight Networks, in a prepared statement. "We believe joining forces with the EyeWonder team will help us build long-term value for our shareholders and further establish Limelight Networks as an important, at-scale participant in the rapidly growing rich media, video, mobile, and web TV advertising sectors."

For more:
- see this press release
- and this blog post from Dan Rayburn

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