IDI – The Evolution Of An Extraordinary BusinessDecember 28, 2015 | By Fluent
Publication date 12/22/15
- Completed acquisition of Fluent Corp.
- Dr. Phil Frost to join board as vice chairman.
- Donald Mathis, CEO of Kinetic Social, to join board.
IDI (NYSEMKT:IDI) completed the acquisition of Fluent, Inc., immediately positioning the joint concern to capture additional market share in the large, $10 billion-plus and rapidly growing people-based digital marketing business. As a result of IDI’s industry-leading data fusion know how, supported by data fusion pioneer Ole Poulsen and his Seattle-based team of data scientists, Fluent will be able to offer enhanced customer data records for its growing business.
Fluent generated $126 million in revenue over the past twelve months (Sept 14-Sept 15) with EBITDA of roughly $20 million (adjusted by IDI to account for expenses that accrued to the seller and will not be recurring). The following financial data was provided in SEC form 8-K on 12/02/2015:
|Revenue||Gross Profit||EBT||Time Frame|
|$126||NA||$20.0||Last twelve months Adjusted EBITDA|
|$103||$28||$9.9||2015 YTD through 9/30|
|$68||$19||$1.9||2014 full year|
|$53||$16||$4.0||2013 full year|
We believe Fluent is on track to generate roughly $160 million in revenues for the full year.
Conservatively speaking, calendar year 2016 combined revenue could reach $180 – $200 million:
The synergistic opportunities are enormous between these two businesses with their data collection methodologies. The combined business can generate 20% EBTIDA margins, or roughly $35 – $40 million.
Along with the announced completed acquisition in the December 9th press release, IDI added a new and very significant Director to its board: Donald Mathis. Mr. Mathis is the CEO and co-founder of Kinetic Social. The following link provides a better understanding as to why he is an ideal board member who can offer tremendous insight and access to IDI, Inc. (here)
The other previously mentioned new board member is Dr. Phil Frost. Dr. Frost is the largest shareholder and a long-time investor in the company. His addition to the board after nearly seven years of stock ownership and continued financial support – numerous capital contributions including $47 million in the recent financing package – speaks volumes about his depth of interest and confidence in the company.
In addition, it’s noteworthy that the co-founders of Fluent accepted $150 of the $250 million purchase price in IDI common equity, a huge vote of confidence in the future of the joint enterprise. They are clearly willing to “eat their own cooking,” a commendable quality for any public company officer or director.
The obvious merits of this investment will become clear after 2016 Q1 when IDI reports its first full quarter of operating results with the combined entity. 2016 Q2 will further validate the economics of the business by demonstrating period-over-period growth and margin improvement.
Furthermore, on December 21st IDI announced the release of phase one of idiCORE. IDI’s flagship product will revolutionize its product offering by providing more benefit at a lower cost per search than its competition. To date, idiBASIC has been well received by customers. IDI has in excess 1,000 customers using the idiBASIC service, many of whom will immediately migrate to idiCORE.
If the company fails to successfully roll out its idiCORE and execute on the potential synergies of the combined entities shareholders will have reason for concern. Dr. Frost and Mr. Mathis have clearly risked their professional reputations by associating with IDI, a fact that should allow investors to sleep well.
Finally, on December 14th Fluent announced a new hire of Daryl Colwell as Senior Vice President of Sales. Mr. Colwell has extensive digital marketing industry experience having worked 15 years at Matomy Media Group and previously at Relevance-X, the online behavioral and life-stage targeting division of Acxiom. Colwell is a highly regarded industry thought leader and solid addition to the team at a transformational point in time for the company.
Looking ahead, IDI may soon announce a resolution of its outstanding litigation with TransUnion (NYSE:TRU). Court filings indicate a pre-trial conference is scheduled for March 8, 2016. However, according to court records, the two companies engaged in 14 hours of, “extensive settlement discussions which commenced on or about September 16, 2015, and which essentially have been conducted continuously since that date. Unfortunately a settlement has not been reached.” This may lead to a negotiated settlement preceding the pre-trial conference. TransUnion has been successful with its TLOxp product, meaning they will not easily give up their ability to sell their service, suggesting a royalty or revenue sharing agreement may ultimately be part of any settlement agreement, as opposed to a one-time cash payment or otherwise. IDI has gone on record publicly as saying its current product offerings will not be impacted regardless of the final suit resolution. Of course, legal proceedings have plenty of room for unexpected outcomes for all parties involved.
IDI continues to evolve into the data fusion industry’s dominant force. After it reaches critical mass, the company will generate enormous free cash flow, further enabling it to accelerate its growth strategies as well as acquire new or competing technology. With each passing strategic event, IDI appears to be evolving to a greater potential.
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