Access Worldwide Sells Direct Mail Sampling Arm

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Access Worldwide Communications will sell its Phoenix Marketing Group subsidiary, a pharmaceutical sampling, direct mail and database management business, for $33 million, the company said.


Express Scripts Inc. has agreed to buy Phoenix Marketing and assume $2 million of the subsidiary's liabilities. Access Worldwide said it would use proceeds from the sale to pay $25.7 million in debts, leaving $10.1 million.


Access Worldwide's board of directors has approved the deal. The company's stockholders will hold a special meeting in the first quarter of 2002 to give final approval.


"The further reduction or, if possible, the elimination of our debt remains a priority for this management team," said Michael Dinkins, chairman/CEO of Access Worldwide. "We are continuing to explore all strategic options including the possible disposition of our medical-education and market research operations."


Phoenix Marketing employs about 300 people at four sampling, management and warehouse facilities in New Jersey. It delivered 74 million samples in 2000 and sent 72.1 million in the first nine months of this year.


Express Scripts, Lincoln Park, NJ, is a pharmacy benefit management company. Access Worldwide, Boca Raton, FL, is a marketing services firm active in the pharmaceutical, telecommunications, financial services and consumer products industries.


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