Spark reaches Unanimis exit

London-based Spark Ventures has received £4.7m from the successful exit of digital advertising network, Unanimis to Orange France Telecom Group.

As part of the deal, Spark will retain a stake in Open X, an international independent advertisement server for web publishers, which spun out from Unanimis in 2007.

Spark invested £2.1m in Unanimis in 2007 and is set to make a 2.4x return of the full earn arrangements are reached. The earn-out is payable in 2012 and is subject to profit and revenue targets. The proceeds from the realisation will remain on Spark’s balance sheet and will be returned to shareholders in the future. Having earned £21.7m in turnover last year, Unanimis claims to reach over 69% of the UK online population.

Executive director at SPARK, Jay Patel said: “This is a good result in what is a difficult market for the advertising sector. The first part of the realisation has generated a cash profit on our initial investment in Unanimis and we anticipate that further proceeds from the earn out and stake in Open X will deliver a solid return on a growth stage investment.”

Managing £190m on behalf of institutional investors, universities and two quoted venture capital trusts, SPARK Ventures targets companies in the media, technology, telecoms and healthcare & life sciences sectors.