Exclusive: Catena Media offloads FX affiliate websites to employee Jason Hopgood
FNG Exclusive… FNG has learned that gaming and financial affiliate website operator Catena Media plc (STO:CTM) has offloaded its financial related websites and business to a company called Finaffiliates Ltd. Finaffiliates was recently set up by now-former Head of Financial Trading at Catena, Jason Hopgood.
The transaction, which closed on January 31, brings to a close Catena’s attempt to build a “financials” division alongside its core gaming affiliate business. In 2017-2018 Catena made a concerted effort to grow from its base of gaming affiliate websites into the “financials” area, spending tens of millions of dollars in acquiring a number of (mainly) FX broker affiliate and news websites such as DeutscheFXBroker.de, BrokerDeal.de, ForexTraders.com, TheBull.com.au, TheBull.asia, FatCat.com.au, LearnTrading.com.au, LearnCFDs.com, hammerstonemarkets.com, and Leaprate.com.
The company hired FXcompared.com Global General Manager Nigel Frith in early 2018 to head the Financial Trading group out of London. Initially, the Financial Trading segment comprised about 5-6% of overall Catena revenues, in 2020 bringing in €5.8 million in revenues and EBITDA of €1.3 million. However Catena announced toward the end of 2020 that it “won’t be making further investments into the Financial Services segment.” Revenue from the Financial Trading segment has tumbled to just 1% of company revenue by Q3-2022, at just €367,000 for the quarter, generating negative EBITDA of €308,000. Nigel Frith was reassigned within the organization, and in 2021 Catena named Jason Hopgood, then Head of Sales for the Financials division, to head the division.
In May 2022, amid faltering results and a falling stock price, Catena announced that it was initiating a “strategic review of certain parts of its business,” including its Financials division. It appears now, following the transaction with Mr. Hopgood, that no outside buyers emerged for the business. Interestingly Catena – which is a public company – has not made any formal announcement about the deal, indicating that very little money (if any) changed hands here making the transaction immaterial, and therefore not worthy of even a press release.
Catena Media itself remains (possibly) on the block, with the company announcing in early January that it had hired outside advisers to assist the company in assessing strategic options as part of conversations with third parties that have shown interest in acquiring certain assets, including “all the remaining assets of the group.”