AT&T is in discussions to sell its ad tech unit Xandr to Indian adtech company InMobi, according to sources familiar with the matter told Axios, part of a push to unload businesses that aren’t core to the carrier’s operations.
Sources say AT&T began seeking a buyer for Xandr to get it off of its balance sheet as the ad unit is losing tens of millions a year and has been mismanaged by AT&T. The talks are in early stages and may not lead to a sale, sources say. Axios also reported that a Xandr deal could give InMobi more scale at a fire sale price.
Sources say AT&T will consider the fire sale a success if it gets at least $1 billion for Xandr. Sources familiar with company financials say the price tag is too high.
Functioning as a both sell-side and a buy-side platform, Xandr mainly made most of its money from transactions it facilitated on the sell-side internally on behalf of AT&T, monetizing WarnerMedia properties and DirecTV addressable ad inventory.
According to the Axios report, AT&T has been shopping Xander for months. Several strategic buyers and private equity firms, including Microsoft, Roku, and Mediaocean, looked into the asset and passed.
India’s mobile advertising technology company InMobi is planning a U.S. IPO by the end of 2021, according to sources familiar with the matter. A successful debut could make InMobi the first of India’s unicorns to directly list in a U.S. stock exchange.
The size of the offering could be as large as $1 billion, valuing InMobi at $12 billion to $15 billion, according to the person.