CLIQ has aligned its M&A strategy to enhance both corporate growth and innovation through focused acquisitions and partnerships. In this interview, we talk with Erik Cornelissen, the M&A Director at CLIQ, about the company’s M&A activities in the first quarter of 2024.

Erik provides insights into CLIQ’s overall strategy and its role in reaching the company’s yearly goals. He also touches on the challenges and opportunities of these strategic moves and shares some thoughts on what might be expected in the upcoming quarters.

Hi Erik! Could you provide an overview of our M&A activities in Q1 2024 and goals for the year?

In this first quarter of the year, we have once again reviewed and talked to various companies in the market. In doing so we always first look if there is business synergy between the ‘target’ company and our business. In some of these cases, our M&A activities already led to business cooperation between CLIQ and the company. As M&A conversations and negotiations are mostly strictly confidential, I cannot tell the names of these companies. However, we started to collaborate on an operational level with two companies (one in push notifications and another one active on YouTube) and we started a test to see if another company could benefit from our marketing power. If such operational cooperation is successful, we will explore an investment in or acquisition of a majority stake in the relevant companies.

In addition to these M&A targets, we’ve engaged in talks with several larger companies to explore forming potential strategic partnerships, as well as with investors interested in providing capital to accelerate our growth.

Looking ahead, what are the key areas of focus for our M&A strategy in the coming quarter?

Our M&A activities will remain focused on bringing additional revenue, content sourcing (improving portfolio with additional categories and increased content) and obtaining new expertise (e.g. alternative marketing and alternative payment methods). We look at German companies with an existing large subscriber base in any content category which we could leverage to accelerate our German business. And at companies in other territories (Europe, US, Latin America, Far East) with existing large subscriber bases (ideally with scalable international formats).

We also keep exploring strategic partnerships and talking to potential investors for CLIQ.

And lastly, what are the main opportunities and challenges this year?

In our industry, there are a lot of companies that struggle to create a profitable business themselves and need a strong partner that can help them finance the growth of their business. This is an opportunity for CLIQ. With our launch in new territories (Latin America, Japan, etc.), we have a broad scope to explore M&A opportunities. The challenge however is that a lot of the smaller companies are not profitable and often have substantial debt, and at the same time they think they are very valuable. This combination means that for us investing in such companies is not very attractive as we are a profitable company with no debt on our balance sheet and are very cautious about paying too much for acquisitions.

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