OptionsHouse, Redbox, Revenew acquired: here's what you need to know

by Andreas Rekdal
July 25, 2016

In a huge day for Chicago tech exits, the parent companies of Redbox and OptionsHouse were both acquired, for $1.6 billion and $725 million respectively. This comes on the heels of last week's sale of Chicago adtech company Revenew to Marlin Equity Partners for an undisclosed sum. Read on for details:

E*TRADE Financial Corporation announced on Monday it is acquiring the parent company of Chicago financial services provider OptionsHouse for $725 million.

“This transaction provides OptionsHouse customers with an expanded breadth of offerings, while they continue to enjoy the same tools, platform, value and quality services they have come to expect,” said Michael Curcio, CEO of OptionsHouse parent company Aperture Group, in a statement. “My leadership team and I look forward to shepherding a smooth transition for our customers and colleagues alike.”

According to the statement, the New York-based online broker will be financing the acquisition through the issuance of $400 million in preferred stock, with the remainder paid in cash. The deal is expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2016.

Founded in 2006 and headquartered in Chicago, OptionsHouse currently manages $3.6 billion in assets across 154,000 customer accounts. Trading primarily in options, the company had $104 million in revenue over the past year.

E*TRADE expects synergies to save the two companies $65 million annually starting in 2017.

In the day's second big exit, Outerwall announced it has entered an agreement to be bought by private equity firm Apollo Global Management for $1.6 billion in cash.

Oakbrook Terrace's Redbox, an Outerwall subsidiary and early catalyst of tech success in Chicago, makes the story of note to Chicago techies. 

"Apollo is an ideal partner to support Outerwall's efforts to continue serving our millions of loyal customers and dedicated retail partners through our unrivaled network of kiosks and automated retail offerings," said Outerwall CEO Erik E. Prusch in a statement. "We look forward to working closely with Apollo as we continue to strengthen our businesses and execute on our strategic plan."

Based in Bellevue, Washington, Outerwall also operates the Coinstar brand of coin-cashing kiosks and mobile phone recycling kiosk operators ecoATM.

Just last week, Los Angeles investment firm Marlin Equity Partners announced it's acquiring Chicago adtech provider Revenew. As part of the acquisition, Revenew will be merged with marketing applications business TMA. The combined entity will be headquartered in Chicago and be rebranded as “Aprimo,” with Revenew CEO John Stammen at the helm.

“Marlin’s decision to acquire Revenew and combine it with complementary assets of TMA demonstrates its strategic vision and commitment to building an innovative platform that addresses the full spectrum of marketing operations requirements of our global customer base,” Stammen said in a statement. “I’m both thrilled and humbled to be leading the new Aprimo.”

Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

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