Metro Sees Acquisition as First Step to Future Growth

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Metro Marketing, Freehold, NJ, is beginning to seek locations for additional call centers following the acquisition last month of a New Jersey telemarketing firm.


Metro, a subsidiary of Corfacts Inc., absorbed the management and sales personnel and purchased the telemarketing accounts of Advanced Marketing, Sea Bright, NJ. The terms of the acquisition, which did not include any facilities or equipment, were not disclosed.


Advanced Marketing specialized in medical lead generation, the telemarketing of mortgage and insurance services and telemarketing to businesses for hotel chains from a 24-seat center in Sea Bright, which has been closed. Sales associates who worked at the center were not transferred.


Like Advanced Marketing, Metro Marketing specializes in medical lead generation and mortgage and insurance services, but also focuses on subscription acquisition. The company's publishing clients include the Wall Street Journal and local newspapers.


The acquisition gives Metro Marketing access to Advanced Marketing's roster of about 1,100 current and past clients. Customers for both companies include a lot of small, local accounts, although Metro Marketing serves several clients on a national basis, according to Larry Finkelstein, president of Corfacts.


Advanced Marketing had been seeking to expand its client roster with larger accounts, Finkelstein said, but needed a larger facility.


Metro Marketing, which has been growing rapidly during the past year, recently relocated to a 7,500-square-foot, 96-seat call center, and Advanced Marketing decided to combine forces with Metro Marketing rather than try to grow on its own. Metro, which had revenues of more than $3 million last year, employs 200 associates. The company had been functioning with about 50-60 occupied seats before the acquisition, but will fill about 75-80 with the addition of the Advanced Marketing accounts.


Finkelstein said he had started looking for additional call centers, and expected to remain in New Jersey.


"I know the market, I know what the labor availability is here," he said, adding that he wants to operate within driving distance of the company's headquarters.


Robert Osgoodby, the former head of Advanced Marketing and the author of three books on telemarketing, joined Metro as a sales manager.


Both companies have focused on outbound telemarketing services, although Metro Marketing also has handled some inbound work. Finkelstein said he hoped to handle more inbound calls in the future, but for now is concentrating on building the company's outbound business among small and large clients.


"The thing that's unique about us, I think, is that we are as comfortable with the Wall Street Journal on a national basis as we are with anyone calling up and saying they just need 30 hours," he said. "We have accounts with as few as 30 hours, and some that do 20,000 hours a year with us."


The company is publicly traded on the Nasdaq Over-the-Counter Bulletin Board under the symbol CFCC. Advanced Marketing was privately held. n

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