– Transformative combination forms the industry’s first end-to-end platform to power creators’ success as they build, run, manage, grow, and monetize live games and real-time, 3D content –
- Highly accretive merger is expected to deliver a run rate of $1 billion in Adjusted EBITDA by the end of 2024, and $300 million in annual EBITDA synergies by year three.
- All-stock transaction values ironSource at approximately $4.4 billion, representing a 74% premium to the 30-day average exchange ratio.
- Unity Board authorizes a share buyback program of up to $2.5 billion effective upon closing of the transaction.
- Silver Lake and Sequoia, the two largest Unity shareholders, have committed to investing an aggregate $1 billion in Unity in the form of convertible notes to be issued at closing of the transaction.
- ironSource reaffirms second quarter and full-year 2022 guidance provided during its first quarter earnings call; Unity expects second quarter financial results to be slightly higher than the top end of the guidance range provided during its first quarter earnings call; Unity reduces full-year 2022 revenue guidance from $1,350 - $1,425 million to $1,300 - $1,350 million.
Unity (NYSE: U), the world’s leading platform for creating and operating interactive, real-time 3D (RT3D) content, and ironSource, (NYSE: IS), a leading business platform that empowers mobile content creators to turn their apps into scalable, successful businesses, announced today that they have entered into a definitive agreement under which ironSource will merge into a wholly-owned subsidiary of Unity via an all-stock deal, where each ordinary share of ironSource will be exchanged for 0.1089 shares of Unity common stock. Once closed, current Unity stockholders will own approximately 73.5% and current ironSource shareholders will own approximately 26.5% of the combined company. The companies’ complementary offerings create a unique end-to-end platform that allows creators to create, publish, run, monetize, and grow live games and RT3D content seamlessly.
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Unity Announces Merger Agreement with ironSource (Graphic: Business Wire)
“We believe the world is a better place with more successful creators in it. The combination of Unity and ironSource better supports creators of all sizes by giving them all the tools they need to create and grow successful apps in gaming and other consumer-facing verticals like e-commerce,” said John Riccitiello, CEO of Unity. “This is a step further toward realizing our vision of a fully integrated platform that helps creators in every step of their RT3D journey. We look forward to welcoming Tomer Bar-Zeev, the CEO of ironSource, and the rest of ironSource’s talented team into the Unity family.”
The end-to-end platform synergy from the combination of the companies will enhance Unity’s offerings for creators of all sizes. Together with ironSource, Unity will transform and streamline how live games, RT3D apps and services are made by turning today’s linear creation and growth process into a deeply connected and interactive one. By integrating creation and growth more tightly, creators will be able to leverage data on audience feedback to improve content from the earliest stage in the creation process, and throughout the content lifecycle. This will unlock a flywheel where data from growth feeds improvements in content which in turn drives more business success for the content or app.
“To succeed today, creators need an extensive set of solutions and products working in concert to power amazing user experiences and sustainable business growth,” said Tomer Bar-Zeev, CEO of ironSource. “The combination of Unity and ironSource brings together every product needed to power that flywheel of growth, in a differentiated platform positioned to lead our category and beyond. We couldn’t be more excited about our shared mission to remove obstacles for creators to grow."
The deal will bring together the Unity game engine and editor, Unity Ads, and the rest of Unity Gaming Services (UGS) with ironSource’s best-in-class mediation and publishing platforms, giving developers a seamless and interoperable way to create, grow, and monetize their creations across their lifecycle. In the near term, ironSource's mediation platform will leverage the combined strength of the two companies' ad networks to deliver increased user reach and data scale, and provide an increased return on ad spend to advertisers. Telcos will also benefit from the combination of Unity and ironSource, which will provide them with enhanced opportunities to leverage interactive gaming and RT3D experiences on-device.
In addition to delivering benefits for creators, this transaction also provides significant benefits to shareholders. The combined company is expected to generate a run rate of $1 billion in Adjusted EBITDA by the end of 2024.
In connection with the merger, Unity’s Board of Directors have also authorized a 24-month share buyback program of up to $2.5 billion, effective upon closing of the merger, which is expected to reduce dilution caused by the transaction.
Silver Lake and Sequoia have fully committed to purchase an aggregate of $1 billion in convertible notes from Unity at closing, demonstrating their belief in the value creation potential of the merger. The convertible notes to be issued to Silver Lake and Sequoia are due in 2027 and bear an interest rate of 2% per annum. The conversion price is $48.89 per share.
"Beyond our platform, we expect the combination of our business with ironSource to transform Unity’s financial profile to that of a highly profitable and free cash flow positive company," said Luis Visoso, CFO, Unity. “We expect to generate $300 million in annual EBITDA synergies by year three.”
Management and Board of Directors
Upon closing of the merger, Tomer Bar-Zeev will join Unity’s Board of Directors and serve as a key member of Unity’s executive leadership team. In addition, two additional ironSource Directors will join the Unity Board of Directors upon closing of the transaction. Bar-Zeev and other members of ironSource's management team, who will also assume leadership roles in the combined company, have an established track record of building a profitable, high-growth leader in the global app economy. ironSource's headquarters in Israel will serve as an additional global hub for Unity.
Additional Transaction Details
The proposed all-stock transaction has been approved by the boards of directors of both companies, is expected to close during Unity’s fourth quarter of 2022 and is subject to customary closing conditions, and regulatory and shareholder approval. Additional details and information about the terms and conditions of the transaction will be available in Current Reports on Form 8-K or Form 6-K, as applicable, to be filed by Unity and ironSource with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
Morgan Stanley served as lead financial advisor to Unity. Goldman Sachs also served as financial advisor to Unity, and Morrison & Foerster LLP and Herzog Fox & Neeman served as its legal advisors. Jefferies LLC served as exclusive financial advisor to ironSource, and Latham & Watkins LLP and Meitar Law Offices served as its legal advisors.
Preview of Financial Results and Guidance
In connection with the merger announcement, ironSource reaffirms second quarter and full-year 2022 guidance provided during its first quarter 2022 earnings call.
Unity management expects its second quarter financial results to be slightly higher than the top end of the guidance range provided during its first quarter earnings call. Unity’s Create business continues to perform strongly and the company’s data and engineering interventions in Operate are resulting in improved performance. While Unity expects ongoing strong performance in Create, and continued progress in Operate, it is adjusting its full-year revenue guidance from $1,350 - $1,425 million to $1,300 - $1,350 million to reflect our current assessment of macro trends, product launch and competitive dynamic with our monetization business.
Conference Call and Webcast Details
Unity will hold a conference call for the financial community at 8:00 AM ET (5:00 AM PT) today to discuss plans to join forces with ironSource. Unity will provide a real-time audio broadcast of the teleconference on the Investor Relations page of its website at investors.unity.com.
Unity is the world’s leading platform for creating and operating interactive, real-time 3D content. Our platform provides a comprehensive set of software solutions to create, run, and monetize interactive, real-time 2D and 3D content for mobile phones, tablets, PCs, consoles, and augmented and virtual reality devices. We serve customers of all sizes, at every stage of maturity, from individual creators to large enterprises. For more information, visit Unity.com.
ironSource is a leading business platform for the App Economy. App developers use ironSource's platform to turn their apps into successful, scalable businesses, leveraging a comprehensive set of software solutions which help them grow and engage users, monetize content, and analyze and optimize business performance to drive more overall growth. The ironSource platform also empowers telecom operators to create a richer device experience, incorporating relevant app and service recommendations to engage users throughout the lifecycle of the device. By providing a comprehensive business platform for the core constituents of the App Economy, ironSource allows customers to focus on what they do best, creating great apps and user experiences, while enabling their business expansion in the App Economy. For more information please visit www.is.com
About Non-GAAP Financial Measures
To supplement our consolidated financial statements prepared and presented in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles in the United States (GAAP) we use certain non-GAAP performance financial measures, including Adjusted EBITDA and EBITDA, to evaluate our ongoing operations and for internal planning and forecasting purposes. We define Adjusted EBITDA as net income, less income taxes, interest expense, depreciation and amortization and stock-based compensation expense. We define EBITDA as Earnings before Interest, Taxes, Depreciation and Amortization. We believe Adjusted EBITDA and EBITDA are useful in evaluating our operating performance. However, non-GAAP financial measures have limitations in their usefulness to investors because they have no standardized meaning prescribed by GAAP and are not prepared under any comprehensive set of accounting rules or principles. In addition, other companies, including companies in our industry, may calculate similarly-titled non-GAAP financial measures differently or may use other measures to evaluate their performance, all of which could reduce the usefulness of our non-GAAP financial measures as tools for comparison. As a result, our non-GAAP financial measures are presented for supplemental informational purposes only and should not be considered in isolation or as a substitute for our consolidated financial statements presented in accordance with GAAP.
Cautionary Statement Regarding Forward-Looking Statements
This communication includes forward-looking statements. These forward-looking statements generally can be identified by phrases such as “will,” “expects,” “anticipates,” “foresees,” “forecasts,” “estimates” or other words or phrases of similar import. These statements are based on current expectations, estimates and projections about the industry and markets in which Unity (“Unity”) and ironSource (“ironSource”) operate and management’s beliefs and assumptions as to the timing and outcome of future events, including the transactions described in this communication. While Unity’s and ironSource’s management believe the assumptions underlying the forward-looking statements are reasonable, such information is necessarily subject to uncertainties and may involve certain risks, many of which are difficult to predict and are beyond management’s control. These risks and uncertainties include, but are not limited to the expected timing and likelihood of completion of the proposed transaction, including the timing, receipt and terms and conditions of any required governmental and regulatory approvals of the proposed transaction; the occurrence of any event, change or other circumstances that could give rise to the termination of the merger agreement; the outcome of any legal proceedings that may be instituted against the parties and others following announcement of the merger agreement; the inability to consummate the transaction due to the failure to obtain the requisite stockholder approvals or the failure to satisfy other conditions to completion of the transaction; risks that the proposed transaction disrupts current plans and operations of Unity and ironSource; the ability to recognize the anticipated benefits of the transaction, including anticipated synergies; the amount of the costs, fees, expenses and charges related to the transaction; Unity’s expected stock buyback occuring as planned or at all; Unity’s ability to meet revised financial guidance; and the other risks and important factors contained and identified in Unity’s and ironSource’s filings with the Securities and Exchange Committee (“SEC”), such as Unity’s Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2021 and subsequent Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q and Current Reports on Form 8-K, and ironSource’s Annual Report on Form 20-F for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2021 and subsequent Current Reports on Form 6-K, any of which could cause actual results to differ materially from the forward-looking statements in this communication.
There can be no assurance that the proposed transaction will in fact be consummated. We caution investors not to unduly rely on any forward-looking statements. The forward-looking statements speak only as of the date of this press release. Neither Unity nor ironSource is under any duty to update any of these forward-looking statements after the date of this communication, nor to conform prior statements to actual results or revised expectations, and neither Unity nor ironSource intends to do so.
Important Information for Investors and Stockholders
In connection with the proposed transaction, Unity expects to file with the SEC a registration statement on Form S-4 that will include a joint proxy statement of Unity and ironSource that also constitutes a prospectus of Unity, which joint proxy statement/prospectus will be mailed or otherwise disseminated to Unity’s and ironSource’s respective shareholders, as applicable, when it becomes available. Unity and ironSource also plan to file other relevant documents with the SEC regarding the proposed transaction. INVESTORS ARE URGED TO READ THE JOINT PROXY STATEMENT/PROSPECTUS AND OTHER RELEVANT DOCUMENTS FILED WITH THE SEC IF AND WHEN THEY BECOME AVAILABLE, BECAUSE THEY WILL CONTAIN IMPORTANT INFORMATION.
Investors and shareholders may obtain free copies of the registration statement and the joint proxy statement/prospectus (if and when it becomes available) and other relevant documents filed by Unity and ironSource with the SEC at the SEC’s website at www.sec.gov. Copies of the documents filed by the companies will be available free of charge on their respective websites at www.unity.com and www.is.com.
Participants in Solicitation
Unity, ironSource and their respective directors and executive officers may be considered participants in the solicitation of proxies in connection with the proposed transaction. Information about the directors and executive officers of Unity is set forth in its proxy statement for its 2022 annual meeting of stockholders, which was filed with the SEC on April 20, 2022. Information about the directors and executive officers of ironSource is set forth in its Annual Report on Form 20-F for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2021, which was filed with the SEC on March 30, 2022. These documents can be obtained free of charge from the sources indicated above. Additional information regarding the participants in the proxy solicitations and a description of their direct and indirect interests, by security holdings or otherwise, will be contained in the joint proxy statement/prospectus and other relevant materials to be filed with the SEC when they become available.
No Offer or Solicitation
This communication is not intended to and shall not constitute an offer to sell or the solicitation of an offer to sell or the solicitation of an offer to buy any securities or a solicitation of any vote of approval, nor shall there be any sale of securities in any jurisdiction in which such offer, solicitation or sale would be unlawful prior to registration or qualification under the securities laws of any such jurisdiction. No offer of securities shall be made except by means of a prospectus meeting the requirements of Section 10 of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended.