XLMedia has announced the imminent departure of CBWG founders Kyle Laskowski and Jason Ziernicki as the duo approach the completion of their earn-out targets.
Both Laskowski and Ziernicki played key roles at the company after XLMedia launched its US sports market presence with the acquisition of CBWG in December 2020.
XLMedia paid an upfront consideration of $12m in cash to acquire CBWG, new shares (representing an aggregate value of $3.5m), as well as potential future contingent consideration of up to an additional $9.5m.
As part of the deal, Laskowski and Ziernicki joined XLMedia in newly-created roles, continuing to support CBWG and sharing their expertise and experience in US sports.
David King, CEO of XLMedia, commented: “It was important for Kyle and Jason to join the business and ensure a successful integration into the XLMedia business and transfer of knowledge.
“As entrepreneurs it is understandable that they are looking to move on, but they leave behind a highly talented team committed to growing XLMedia’s US business. I wish them the very best for the future.”
The firm’s strategy of US growth and acquisitions, aided by the likes of CBWG, have helped to boost its financial performance in recent years, particularly in the first six months 2022.
“As a founder you build a brand not knowing what the future holds, in our case, it was joining XLMedia,” remarked Laskowski. “We are very proud about what we and the team were able to build at XLMedia, while pioneering the North American sports market’s media partnership model.
“But the time is right for us to move on, and we feel confident we are leaving the business in good hands.”
Ziernicki added: “The last two years have been both challenging and rewarding as we’ve watched the business expand. As two of the company’s larger shareholders, we wish nothing but success for the company going forward.”
Accompanying this change, XLMedia announced that Kevin Duffy, XLMedia’s VP of Sports Media and founder of Saturday Football Inc. – another of its premium brands – has been appointed VP of North America Sports, responsible for all North America sports content.