Slovakia’s Piano Media buys US counterpart Press+ to create world’s largest digital paywall tech company

Piano Media, the three-year-old Slovakian (but Vienna, Austria-headquartered) paywall tech company we extensively profiled less than a month ago, has joined forces with its American counterpart, Press+.

The merger between the two companies, which are respectively Europe-centric and US-centric, results in the world's largest digital paywall tech company. The transaction is being financed by 3TS Capital Partners, a Central European VC firm, along with other investors.

Even though Piano Media is younger and a lot smaller than Press+ in terms of turnover and staff, the deal is billed as an acquisition of Press+ by Piano, and the latter's name will be retained for the combined company's identity. The financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

Piano Media has also made a killer hire by tapping Kelly Leach, formerly publisher of the Wall Street Journal’s European edition, as its new CEO. Coincidentally, Press+ was founded by former Wall Street Journal publisher L. Gordon Crovitz and journalist Steven Brill.

The combined company says it plans aggressive expansion into Latin American and Asian markets where digital content monetisation is just beginning to get serious attention from publishers across the board. Expect to hear more from them.

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