Cadent Acquired by Private Equity Firm Novacap

Dan Meier 09 August, 2023 

Cadent, an addressable TV advertising company, has been acquired by private equity firm Novacap. The company was previously bought by Lee Equity Partners in 2013, and has reportedly been seeking a buyer since 2019.

The New York-based ad tech firm was founded in 2005, when IP-enabled set-top boxes brought the opportunity to target ads to individual households. Cadent’s technology uses the home address to reach specific audiences, and launched its national platform for addressable TV advertising in 2018. Its offering has expanded to cover linear, CTV and digital advertising, across the US and Europe.

Now Novacap, a Quebec-based investor, has acquired the business through its TMT VI Fund. Financial terms were not disclosed, nor did the companies provide any details in changes to management structure. “Our commitment to our customers remains unchanged,” Cadent told VideoWeek.

But the company did suggest the investment would enable further strategic acquisitions. In 2020, the firm acquired identity and media business 4INFO, folding its audience graph technology into Cadent’s addressable TV platform.

And in 2021, Cadent expanded its partnership with telco Liberty Global, enabling addressable ads on linear and on-demand content across Europe. The partnership also sees Cadent deliver addressable ads on Virgin Media set top boxes in the UK, for ads sold through Sky’s AdSmart product.

“Cadent has been rapidly growing over the past five years, especially in CTV and digital media, and our new backers will provide us with strong financial resources to continue to invest in our growth, both organically through platform innovations, and inorganically through strategic acquisitions,” commented the ad tech firm.

Addressing fragmentation

The companies said the acquisition comes “in a time of rapidly shifting audience viewing habits, marked by a pivot towards digital streaming platforms and devices.” Cadent seeks to address this shift in consumption by deploying household-level targeting for CTV ads, allowing advertisers to control frequency for individual households in a cookieless environment.

And for linear TV, addressable advertising is also advancing in Europe, though progress has been slowed by the specific requirements and regulation of each market. In France for example, laws prohibiting addressable advertising were only repealed in 2020. But since then, the French addressable market has grown to 6.7 million potential households.

Meanwhile in the US, Cadent delivers TV advertising to 120 million households, according to the business. It will look to further build out its platform with Novacap’s backing, the company said.

“Cadent’s financial and operational performance, along with our scale, when combined with Novacap, positions us well in this economy to continue to find opportunities to build our end-to-end platform for advertisers and publishers,” said Cadent. “We’ll continue to look for innovations that help us simplify and automate, manage data in a privacy-compliant way, and aggregate audiences wherever they watch.”

“The Cadent Leadership Team successfully transformed the company into a leader of converged TV solutions,” added Samuel Nasso, Principal at Novacap. “We are at the beginning of a fundamental shift in TV advertising, and with strategic investments and acquisitions we believe Cadent will continue to propel forward as an innovator in the converged marketplace.”

Evercore served as lead financial advisor for the acquisition, alongside Stifel, RBC Capital Markets, TD Securities and Scotiabank. Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP acted as legal advisor to Cadent and Lee Equity Partners.

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