European entertainment powerhouse RTL Group has acquired a 65% majority stakeholding in programmatic video advertising platform SpotXchange for $144 million.

The deal’s terms dictate that RTL Group has the option to acquire the remaining shareholding if it decides it wants to take total ownership of SpotXchange in the future.

RTL’s announcement follows Tesco’s decision to invest in programmatic, as the entertainment firm closes in on a strategy to encompass all segments of online video and online video advertising.

Subject to US competition authority approval, the deal is expected to complete in August when RTL will appoint three of SpotXchange’s five board members. Meanwhile Michael Shehan and Steve Swoboda will continue managing day-to-day operations at the ad company.

Euro expansion

Although SpotXchange has most of its presence in the US and Asia Pacific markets, under RTL’s ownership there are plans to roll out the programmatic technology across Europe.

Focus will simultaneously be on growing RTL’s presence in SpotXchange’s current markets, according to a joint statement released by Anke Schäferkordt and Guillaume de Posch, co-CEOs of RTL Group.

“With its impressive growth story and strong positioning in the United States, SpotXchange also represents a unique opportunity to enhance RTL Group’s presence in the world’s biggest and most advanced media market,” it read.