Hachette paid $84 million in cash up front and agreed to additional payments of up to $26 million if earnings targets are met.
Jumpstart will immediately take over online ad sales for Hachette's Car and Driver, Road & Track and Cycle World magazines. Some publishers believe unifying print and online sales produces better results.
In this case, however, the Hachette titles' sites will be aggregated with Jumpstart's network for a total reach of about 5 million unique visitors a month, according to the companies, which cited ComScore Media Metrix. CarandDriver.com drew 833,000 unique visitors in March, while RoadandTrack.com got 207,000, according to ComScore. CycleWorld.com traffic was too small for ComScore to track.
The deal also furthers the trend of publishers building out their ad-services capabilities; Meredith Corp., publisher of magazines such as Family Circle and Ladies' Home Journal, has acquired three interactive agencies toward that end.
'Most important ad category'
"The acquisition of Jumpstart gives us the scale and expertise in the online automotive marketplace, the largest and most important ad category on the web," said Jack Kliger, president-CEO, Hachette Filipacchi Media U.S. "By combining the strong digital platform of Jumpstart with our well-established brands Car and Driver, Road & Track and Cycle World, Jumpstart and Hachette will be well-positioned to capitalize on future growth opportunities in the automotive category and to create more powerful offerings for our advertising partners in the future."
Jumpstart will retain its brand and all its employees as a subsidiary of Hachette.