Alliance to Acquire Epsilon Data Management

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Alliance Data Systems, a provider of transaction, credit and marketing services, said yesterday that it reached an agreement to acquire Epsilon Data Management Inc., a provider of integrated direct marketing, customer management and loyalty solutions.


The deal is expected to be worth about $300 million, or around 2.5 times Epsilon's expected core revenue. It is to close in the fourth quarter.


Epsilon, Wakefield, MA, will be acquired from Relizon Holdings LLC, a portfolio company of The Carlyle Group, which was advised by CIBC World Markets Corp.


Alliance Data Systems, Dallas, is one of the country's largest providers of payment processing, private label credit, billing, customer care and loyalty and database marketing services to the retail, petroleum, financial services, utility and transportation markets.


One of Alliance's leading programs is the Canadian Air Miles Reward Program, operated by Alliance Data's Marketing Services Group. It has been the premier coalition loyalty program in Canada for the past 12 years, with about two-thirds of all Canadian households participating.


Alliance Data Systems employs 7,500 associates at more than 30 locations in the United States and Canada.


For more than 35 years, Epsilon has provided customer management and loyalty solutions. Clients include Hilton Hotels, Principal Financial Group, Pfizer, Nestle Purina PetCare Co., AstraZeneca and Midas. Its 200 client programs focus on five sectors: financial/insurance, telecom/hi-tech, travel/consumer, healthcare and not-for-profit.


Mike Iaccarino, president/CEO of Epsilon, will continue in his current role. Epsilon has about 700 employees in Wakefield, Dallas, St. Louis and Washington.


Alliance said the addition of Epsilon will let it continue to expand its North American presence in the loyalty space. It gives the company a presence in new verticals such as healthcare, financial/insurance and travel/consumer goods.


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