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Singtel chairman seeks to unlock value in loss-making Amobee

Singapore-based telco Singtel is finding ways to eke out more value from its adtech business Amobee after its latest full-year financial results revealed the platform posted $42m (US $31m) in losses.

Simon Israel, Singtel chairman, said that the company’s share price does not reflect the value of Amobee however, adding that there is a roadmap to unlock its value.

Amobee has been on an acquisition spree for the last couple of years, snapping up the fellow adtech Videology in May 2018, after the latter filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, in a deal reported to be worth around $45m. Just a year earlier, Amobee had bought data management platform Turn for a deal worth an enterprise value of US $310m to boost its ad stack.

“Part of our digital transformation involved making calculated investments in new businesses that would thrive in the future economy."

“Your board is aware that the value of these investments is not being recognised in our share price and management intends to unlock this value at the appropriate time.”

Singtel is also considering the same strategy for its video-on-demand (VOD) platform Hooq.

“As we continue to build operating momentum, we are turning our attention towards value realisation” for units such as Amobee and video streaming platform Hooq,” said Samba Natarajan, the chief executive of the digital life division.

“This could be in the form of additional strategic partners coming on board as stakeholders in the entity, or through an (initial public offering). We also look to better inform the investment community on the real value of these businesses, as they are quite different from our traditional core businesses and should be valued with metrics appropriate for their respective industries.”

Singtel also revealed group chief executive Chua Sock Koong’s remuneration was lowered this year to reflect the company's financial performance for FY 2019, which it claimed is in line with the tougher industry, business and economic conditions, and the challenges the company is facing in India.

Chua made $3.5m in annual salary and bonus, alongside benefits such as car benefits, medical cover and club membership - down from $6.1m the year before.

Amobee had previously announced it was expanding its collaboration with Oracle Data Cloud to activate third-party data across programmatic and social media platforms.

The partnership aims to streamline cross-channel planning decisions and reduce wasted spend by giving marketers access to Oracle's offline purchase-based transaction data sets.

It also announced a deal with Dentsu Inc. to develop brand analytics and advertising solutions for the Japanese ad giant's media campaigns.

Dentsu will use Amobee’s Brand Intelligence solution to provide consumer insights and evaluate data from a variety of sources to provide an understanding of consumer behaviors, sentiment fluctuations, and the impact of external events on online activity for its clients across Japan.

Featured by The Drum