Brian O'Kelley Is Really Enjoying All The Speculation That Yahoo May Acquire AppNexus

Brian O'Kelley, AppNexusBrian O’Kelley

AppNexus CEO Brian O’Kelley seems to be enjoying all the media attention his company has been getting in the wake of Yahoo’s $1.1 billion deal for Tumblr.

With Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer clearly still in acquisition mode — she bought two more startups last week — everyone wants to know if she might sign a really big check for AppNexus, New York’s biggest adtech company.

O’Kelley teased Business Insider with a coy answer to the question last week, in which he declined to deny that he might file for an IPO in the foreseeable future. With 500 employees, $700 million in adspend under management, and $141 million in funding, a deal or public offering for AppNexus would require billions to close.

Here’s what O’Kelley told The Guardian recently:

“I cannot imagine Yahoo buying us,” he says. “But I can’t stop them writing a cheque so big that I couldn’t say no. I am, at some point, subject to many, many zeros.”

A many-zeroed deal for AppNexus isn’t an outlandish idea. It was Yahoo that bought O’Kelley’s previous company, Right Media, for $850 million in 2007.

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