Walmart boosts targeted ad business with $2.3 billion Vizio acquisition

Walmart is purchasing Vizio.

Walmart Inc. is making a major financial commitment to its Walmart Connect media network.

The discount giant has entered into an agreement to acquire smart TV maker/streaming platform provider Vizio for $11.50 per share in cash, in a deal valued at approximately $2.3 billion. By acquiring Vizio and its SmartCast operating system (OS), Walmart intends to create new opportunities to help advertisers connect with customers, as well as offer new connected TV and streaming content for consumers.

The deal comes as Walmart competes with Amazon's growing and lucrative ad business. Vizio’s device portfolio and its Smart TV operating system, SmartCast, has more than 18 million active accounts. The company says its Vizio platform, which has more than 500 direct advertiser relationships, including many of the Fortune 500,  “now accounts for a majority of the company’s gross profit.”

"We believe Vizio’s customer-centric operating system provides great viewing experiences at attractive price points," said Seth Dallaire, executive VP and chief revenue officer, Walmart U.S. "We also believe it enables a profitable advertising business that is rapidly scaling. Our media business, Walmart Connect, is helping brands create meaningful connections with the millions of customers who shop with us each week. We believe the combination of these two businesses would be impactful as we redefine the intersection of retail and entertainment."

Launched in 2021 as a revamped version of the Walmart Media Group, Walmart Connect is designed to enable advertisers to drive more effectiveness with their overall media spend. It offers advertisers the ability to serve personalized, time- and context-specific ads across customer touchpoints including media placements on in-store TV walls and self-checkout screens, Walmart digital properties, mobile devices and corporate events.

In September 2023, Walmart began offering premium sponsored search placement via a new sponsored videos program to all Walmart Connect advertisers that are brand-registered in the Walmart Brand Portal. According to Walmart, Walmart Connect grew 30% for fiscal year 2024.

"By bringing our capabilities and resources together, we’ll drive innovation and create even more value for our customers," said William Wang, CEO of Vizio. "Walmart’s approach is aligned with Vizio’s mission and vision, and our technology will help bring a scaled, connected TV advertising platform to Walmart Connect. This transaction delivers immediate and compelling value to Vizio stockholders and is a true testament to the hard work of the entire Vizio team."

Following the completion of the transaction, Vizio’s business will be reported as part of the Walmart U.S. segment and the company’s class A common stock will no longer be publicly listed.

Based in Bentonville, Ark., Walmart Inc. operates more than 10,500 stores and numerous e-commerce websites in 19 countries.

This ad will auto-close in 10 seconds