France’s Webedia has acquired the U.S. digital data and marketing firm West World Media, the digital media giant announced Thursday.
The acquisition of West World is the latest of several moves by the aggressively expanding Webedia, which now draws more than 80 million unique visitors each month across its worldwide networks. No details of the purchase price were disclosed.
West World Media has become the largest provider of movie showtime information globally via Yahoo, Google and other digital platforms since it was founded in 1995 by Brett West.
Under the Movie Goer Network brand, it provides the websites, mobile applications and social networks for more than 100 partners in the U.S. movie industry. At the same time, its CinemaSource unit delivers showtimes in 16 languages to 80 countries.
“Having spent the past 21 years building the company from scratch to the world leader of movie showtimes, it was time for me to pursue other interests,” said West. “Webedia is the perfect new owner and and I wish them continued tremendous success with West World Media.”
Webedia acquired BoxOffice Media (parent of BoxOffice.com) in April, then led a $16 million round of financing for Moviepilot.com to fuel the fan-centric media website’s expansion into gaming content and social video production. Webedia already purchased the German website moviepilot.de for $20 million in June 2014.
Thursday’s deal will enable Webedia to focus on the exhibition sector, which is key to its U.S. development plans, said Julien Marcel, who will oversee West World and remain chief executive of BoxOffice Media while heading U.S. Webedia.
“We intend to further develop our strategic relationship with the National Association of Theater owners with BoxOffice Pro, the official NATO magazine,” Julien told TheWrap. “As a sign of this close collaboration, our former Chief Analyst Phil Contrino has recently joined NATO as Data and Research Manager. This is a great opportunity for Phil and one more strong tie between our organizations.”
“A new office in Los Angeles will allow Webedia executives to work more closely with the studios and prioritize innovation with its partners located in Silicon Valley,” Julien added.
Webedia will have roughly 100 employees in the U.S., working in L.A. and its other two offices in New York and Ridgefield, Conn.
The acquisition will accelerate U.S. development plans, which Webedia preident and CEO Véronique Morali called a top priority Thursday. The company now draws 40 million unique monthly visitors across all its movie-related websites worldwide.