Adrian J Cotterill, Editor-in-Chief
Premier Retail Networks, LLC (PRN), a Technicolor Company and indoorDIRECT, Inc., owner of The Restaurant Entertainment Network, a digital media outlet currently operating in more than 1,200 major brand quick-service restaurants in the United States, announced Tuesday that they have entered into an agreement to form a joint venture BUT as, several other industry observers have pointed out, this is in actual fact nothing more than an acquisition.
The resulting entity, led by indoorDIRECT co-founder Michael Winton and board member Charlie Rutman, we are told, will aim to provide marketers and advertisers with the ability to reach even more consumers outside the home.
Under the agreement, PRN will take a 50% equity position in the joint venture, in exchange for an undisclosed capital investment. The remaining 50% of the joint venture is owned by a number of investors, with Syncom Venture Partners as the largest.
A portion of the investment will be used to further expand the network’s national footprint, increasing the number of dining locations to 2,500 by mid-2012. PRN will also take over management of all advertising sales, programming and network operations, while indoorDIRECT will contribute a host of assets, such as its brand name, existing dining venue agreements, technology infrastructure andother related agreements, and personnel†strategic alliance between PRN and indoorDIRECT announced in October 2009, when PRN began providing national and regional advertising sales services for The Restaurant Entertainment Network.
“Dining is a fast-growing, key category in digital place-based media, and indoorDIRECT is the leader in this market segment,” said Ahmad Ouri, president of PRN. “This is a tremendous opportunity to further accelerate its growth, and PRN has the power and the experience to support this expansion.”
“We value our successful relationship with PRN, and this commitment will help us further expand our platform, reach more diners, and provide marketers a more effective way of reaching consumers throughout the day,” said indoorDIRECT’s Rutman.
†Sixteen:Nine’s Dave Haynes reports that “All the Dallas staff, where indoorDirect was based, have been bingo’d” and so it is unclear, whom, other than co-founder Michael Winton and board member Charlie Rutman has joined the new entity