Walmart Announces Acquisition of VIZIO for $2.3 Billion to Expand Media Business

In an exciting announcement, Walmart and VIZIO have revealed that they have reached an agreement for Walmart to acquire VIZIO for $11.50 per share in cash, amounting to a fully diluted equity value of approximately $2.3 billion. This strategic move by Walmart aims to enhance its connection with customers through innovative television and in-home entertainment experiences.

The acquisition of VIZIO also presents an opportunity for Walmart to assist advertisers in connecting with customers on a larger scale. By combining VIZIO’s advertising solutions business with Walmart’s reach and capabilities, brands will be empowered with differentiated and compelling opportunities to engage with customers. This move is expected to further accelerate Walmart’s media business in the U.S., known as Walmart Connect, and solidify its position as a leader in the industry.

Seth Dallaire, executive vice president and chief revenue officer of Walmart U.S., expressed his enthusiasm for the acquisition, highlighting VIZIO’s customer-centric operating system that provides great viewing experiences at attractive price points. Dallaire also emphasized the profitable advertising business that VIZIO has rapidly scaled, stating that the combination of the two businesses will redefine the intersection of retail and entertainment.

VIZIO, founded in 2002, has been dedicated to delivering immersive entertainment and innovative connected home devices to consumers at great value. Over the years, VIZIO’s device ecosystem and its Smart TV operating system, SmartCast, have garnered over 18 million active accounts, experiencing a remarkable growth of approximately 400 percent since 2018. VIZIO’s customer-centric platform has enabled users to stream content for free by watching ads, leading to the creation of an advertising business that has continued to thrive. With over 500 direct advertiser relationships, including several Fortune 500 companies, VIZIO’s advertising business, known as Platform+, now accounts for a majority of the company’s gross profit.

On the other hand, Walmart Connect, the retailer’s closed-loop omnichannel media business, has achieved significant growth of 30 percent in fiscal year 2024. Walmart Connect offers attractive opportunities for Walmart suppliers and sellers to reach their desired customers, regardless of where, how, and when they shop. The company is constantly innovating to provide advertisers of all sizes with distinct omnichannel solutions and accelerate shared growth.

The transaction is subject to regulatory clearance and other closing conditions specified in the merger agreement. However, VIZIO’s Board of Directors has unanimously approved the transaction, and VIZIO stockholders holding approximately 89% of the voting power have also given their approval. The completion of the transaction will result in VIZIO’s Class A common stock no longer being publicly listed.

To finance the acquisition, Walmart plans to utilize cash and/or debt, with no financing condition attached to the transaction. Although there will be certain transaction-related costs, such as talent retention and technology integration, Walmart expects the acquisition to be slightly dilutive to earnings per share in the near term. However, the internal rate of return (IRR) for this transaction is projected to surpass Walmart’s reported return on investment (ROI).

After the transaction is finalized, VIZIO’s business will be reported as part of the Walmart U.S. segment, further strengthening Walmart’s position in the industry.

About Walmart, it is a people-led, tech-powered omnichannel retailer that strives to help people save money and live better. With over 10,500 stores and numerous eCommerce websites in 19 countries, Walmart attracts approximately 255 million customers and members each week. With fiscal year 2024 revenue of $648 billion, Walmart employs around 2.1 million associates globally. The company is renowned for its commitment to sustainability, corporate philanthropy, and employment opportunities.

As for VIZIO, it is a California-based company that aims to deliver immersive entertainment and compelling lifestyle enhancements through its cutting-edge Smart TVs and powerful operating system. Additionally, VIZIO offers innovative sound bars that provide consumers with an elevated audio experience. With its integrated platform, VIZIO gives content providers more avenues to distribute their content and provides advertisers with additional tools to connect with the right audience.