Iconic Labs new media and tech business has reached an agreement in tandem with Greencastle Capital to buy Maximum Media Network Limited (MM), the owner of Joe and Her brands. Completion of the deal depends on creditor and court approval and Irish media merger clearance, which Iconic Labs hopes will be fully agreed within two months.
The Irish deal follows Iconic Labs’ acquisition of Joe Media UK last week. In a statement issued on behalf of the new owners, it was claimed that annual revenues of Joe and Her grew by 391 per cent from €1.46 million in 2014 to €7.18m in 2017. Iconic Labs will be paid a monthly fee of £50,000 plus external costs for managing the combined businesses.
The company will receive a quarter of all profits provided certain revenue and profit targets are met. Iconic Labs is already managing all aspects of the Joe media businesses in the UK and will do so in Ireland once creditor and court approval has been secured, the merger notification period has expired and Greencastle has finalised the proposed deal.
Iconic Labs recently competed for the troubled digital business founded by Mayoman and former ad agency owner Niall McGarry along with Packed House, after it was placed in examinership by KPMG. The appointment was sought by BPC Lending, an MM creditor. Under a 2018 loan agreement, BPC had advanced over €6m to the company.
The UK company, which changed its name from Maximum Media to Joe.ie, became insolvent and was placed in administration. BPC had alleged in the High Court that there were indications of “poor financial management”. Joe UK was later acquired by Iconic Labs.
The company’s fall from grace first came to public attention with the news that it had used a click farm in 2017 to falsely inflate the audience numbers on an AIB-sponsored podcast. MMN said that the person responsible for the false figures had left the company. RTE is said to have made a bid of €12m for a stake in the business before it got into financial difficulties.