The secretive Barclay brothers’ Daily Telegraph could have acquired part of the UK arm of Doubleclick, the billion dollar internet advertising business. No announcement has been made but on May 16 Doubleclick UK’s name was changed to Telegraph Media Group Limited.
The Companies House database lists the advertising business, formed in1977, with the address of 1 Canada Square, Canary Wharf, London, where the paper has its headquarters.
While there are many companies registered with doubleclick as part of their names, a Google search shows the Doubleclick group was trading as Doubleclick UK. In June last year Doubleclick was bought by Hellman and Friedman LLC, private equity investors with offices in San Fancisco, Ney York and London. Their web site says:
DoubleClick is the leading provider of technology and data solutions for advertising agencies, web publishers, marketers, and catalogers to plan, execute and analyze their marketing programs. DoubleClick’s marketing solutions – – online advertising, search engine and affiliate marketing, email marketing, database marketing, and data management – – help clients yield the highest return on their marketing dollar. DoubleClick Inc. has global headquarters in New York City and maintains 21 offices around the world. In July 2005, Click Holding Corp., a subsidiary of Hellman & Friedman LLC and JMI Equity, acquired DoubleClick in a transaction valued at approximately $1.1 billion.
In August last year an annual return was filed for Doubleclick (UK) giving the Canada Square address. The current Doubliclick group web site gives three addresses in south east England for various parts of the business but without precise company names.
Earlier today Jeff Jarvis reported in BuzzMachine on a survey of international blogging behaviour conducted by the Telegraph Media Group. He found it odd that while the story was reported in the Guardian, he could not find it in the Telegraph.
It is too late now to make phone calls to people in the UK who could elucidate, deny or confirm. The Barclay brothers, David and Frederick, who live on a tiny Channel Island bought the Daily Telegraph in 2004. The Sunday Times Rich List valued them at Â£1.3 billion last year.
Clearly the Telegraph needs to develop both its print and online business which is a good reason for conducting surveys and being involved in internet advertising. No doubt we will find out soon where this trail leads.