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Sat 19 Sep 2015 03:07 PM

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UAE's Al Ahli acquires LA-based digital content firm

Conglomerate announces deal for theAudience, one of the world's largest social media publishing companies

UAE's Al Ahli acquires LA-based digital content firm
Mohammed Khammas, CEO of Al Ahli Holding Group.

UAE-based conglomerate Al Ahli Holding Group said on Wednesday it has acquired theAudience, one of the world's largest publishers of multi-channel social and digital content.

Based in Los Angeles, theAudience has become known as one of the world's most innovative and largest social-media publishing and marketing companies, reaching more than 1 billion people globally each month.

Its expertise in connecting brands and consumers has led it to work with such iconic brands as American Express, McDonald's, Unilever, Ford and, in the entertainment industry, Paramount, Universal, Sony and 20th Century Fox.

theAudience will become a connective tissue across Al Ahli, which has holdings in live events, media production, sports and fitness, lifestyle, consumer products and many other sectors.

"Acquiring theAudience is in line with our long-term global diversification plan and will be key to the international expansion of our rapidly growing lifestyle, entertainment and digital-media portfolio," said Mohammed Khammas, CEO of Al Ahli.

"the Audience will allow us to create a direct-to-consumer media company that offers innovative social-content solutions to varied industries, including live events, themed entertainment, movies and TV shows, consumer products, lifestyle and fitness."

Oliver Luckett, CEO of theAudience, will remain head of the company. Luckett co-founded the company with Sean Parker, founding Facebook president, and Ari Emanuel, co-CEO of William Morris Endeavor.

theAudience is the third company Luckett has started that went on to acquisition, including Digisynd, which was acquired by The Walt Disney Company in 2008.

Since its inception, theAudience has grown to syndicate more than 5,000 pieces of branded content each month to more than 1 billion consumers through its network of more than 6,000 celebrities and influencers.

"We started theAudience with a dream to become the nucleus of a global, next-generation media company, and AAHG is helping us fulfill that dream," Luckett said. "Now, the vision we've had is coming together with an incredibly forward-thinking company that will put us at the heart of live experiences, theme parks, retail experiences, comic conventions and collectibles - plus an exciting community of artists."

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