StockMarketWire.com - Business focused media company Ascential said it had agreed to acquire an initial 35% interest in cybersecurity provider Avast's marketing analysis unit Jumpshot for $60.8m.

Ascential said it also had an option to take a majority ownership position in Jumpshot no sooner than January 2021.

The deal was conditional on German antitrust approval and the entry by Ascential, Jumpshot and Avast into a shareholders' agreement, which would grant a put and call option over an additional 16% of Jumpshot's shares.

The total consideration payable by Ascential for the two tranches would not exceed £300m, Ascential said. Closing of the deal was currently expected to occur on or around 31 August 2019.

Separately, Ascential booked a 32% rise in first-half profit for the six months through June to £30.5m.

Revenue jumped 25% to £236.2m, though the company lowered its interim dividend to 1.8p, down from 1.9p, with the prior year benefiting from earnings from discontinued operations.

'Jumpshot is a good fit for Ascential and supports our goal to help the world's most ambitious businesses win in the digital economy,' chief executive 'Duncan Painter said.

'Jumpshot takes existing insights and measurement platforms to the next level by connecting behaviours across any site, including walled gardens, providing brands with deep insight into consumers' paths to purchase in the digital economy.'

'Having exclusive access to Jumpshot products is expected to accelerate sales for Edge by Ascential and allow Ascential to build unique products for our customers to drive their success in digital commerce.'

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