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Directi to buy back Ashmore’s stake in contextual advertising service Media.net

Directi Media.net

Directi UAE is buying back Ashmore Investment Management’s stake in the contextual advertising service Media.net, reports The Economic Times. Ashmore had invested in the company in 2008 and currently owns about one-third stake in the business.

Media.net founder and CEO Divyank Turakhia told the publication that Directi has already bought the India assets of Media.net from Ashmore, and they are now buying the rest of the assets. While Turakhia didn’t disclose the terms of deal, ET says Ashmore will be given market value along with some more rights.

Readers will remember that in September 2012, Media.net had inked a long-term deal with Yahoo to power Yahoo Bing Network Contextual Ads, which was similar to Google’s AdSense. Contextual Ads are text ads that are related to the text featured on a website and are placed on the same page. At the time of launch, the program was limited to websites that received majority of their traffic from the United States, Canada or United Kingdom, and was designed to work for websites that had premium content.

Founded in 2010, Media.net currently has operation centers in Austin, Texas, and Mumbai and Bangalore in India, besides in Dubai, UAE. It has over 450 employees across these locations. The company reportedly generates revenue of over $200 million a year.

Directi acquisition: HostGator owner Endurance International Group had completed the acquisition of Directi’s web presence business for $109.8 million in a cash & stock deal in January this year, after initially agreeing to buy it August 2013. The deal included $82.6 million in cash and around $27.2 million worth of Endurance International’s common stock (2.27 million shares at $12 per share).

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As part of the deal, Endurance took over several of Directi’s businesses, including its domain registration and hosting service BigRock, B2B brands domain reseller service Reseller club, registry solution Logicboxes and webhosting.info.

Media.net along with the educational initiative Codechef, the traffic monetization program Skenzo, and the messaging app talk.to weren’t part of the deal. Last month, Directi founder & CEO Bhavin Turakhia had also launched a business chat service called Flock that allows businesses of any size to chat on a one-to-one basis (between colleagues and team members) or groups.

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