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Nexstar Buys Video Ad-Tech Startup LKQD Technologies for $90 Million

Broadcast giant Nexstar Media Group has reached a deal to acquire LKQD Technologies, a video-advertising infrastructure company, for $90 million cash.

Nexstar expects the deal close late in 2017 or the first quarter of 2018, subject to usual closing conditions. The purchase price is subject to adjustments, including a minimum cash balance of $10 million and a contingent earn-out payment based on LKQD’s performance at the end of two years under Nexstar’s ownership. LKQD (pronounced “liquid”) will operate as a division of Nexstar Digital.

LKQD, founded in 2014 and based in Foothill Ranch, Calif., provides enterprise digital video advertising technology services for publishers and advertisers reaching approximately 115 million U.S. online video viewers across desktops, web, mobile and connected TVs.

LKQD is substantially owned by its two founders — CEO Brian DeFrancesco and chief technology officer Christophe Clapp — both of whom have entered into employment agreements with Nexstar, along with other senior execs. Prior to LKQD, DeFrancesco and Clapp both worked at ad-tech companies Vindico (formerly part of Viant, now owned by Sizmek) and Specific Media (now called Viant, which Time Inc. acquired last year). There are no significant outside investors in LKQD, according to a company rep.

Nexstar sees an opportunity to couple LKQD’s video-advertising system with the broadcast station group’s audience reach across 170 stations in 100 U.S. markets. That will let Nexstar sell “significant hyper-local” targeted advertising across TV, digital and mobile platforms, according to the company.

“Our acquisition of LKQD is consistent with our long-term strategic and financial growth objectives for Nexstar Digital as we unify, expand and invest in our technology platform to optimize results for our clients, while developing new revenue opportunities,” Perry Sook, Nexstar’s chairman, president and CEO, said in announcing the deal.

Nexstar said the LKQD is expected to be immediately accretive to operating results and free cash flow and doesn’t materially change alter the company’s debt position. The acquisition will be financed with cash generated from operations and funds from the company’s revolving credit facility.

Nexstar, based in Irving, Texas, owns or operates 170 TV stations and related digital multicast signals reaching 100 markets, representing about 39% of all U.S. TV households. The company added 71 stations through the $4.6 billion acquisition of Media General, which closed in January.

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