ALC Wastes No Time Integrating MaxDirect

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NEW YORK -- American List Counsel made its acquisition of MaxDirect official Monday by giving it the ALC name, hiring its 19 employees and moving one of its satellite offices into MaxDirect's Valhalla, NY, office space.

The transition is going smoothly for both sides, ALC chairman/CEO Donn Rappaport said at a press conference yesterday to expand on the announcement that ALC purchased the MaxDirect data management division, the company formerly known as Novus List Marketing, from MaxWorldwide.

"We've known Novus for a long time," Rappaport said, "and they were always very good at bringing in business and establishing relationships."

During the past three years, Novus has had something of an identity crisis. It originally was acquired by online marketing and advertising agency L90 Inc. in May 2001 and became L90 Direct. In July 2002, L90 rebranded itself as MaxWorldwide, prompting another name change for the division to MaxDirect.

With the purchase, ALC adds 50 list management clients to its own 75. It also increased its head count to 220 employees. In addition to 15 employees in the Valhalla office, the acquisition included a data processing division in Minneapolis with 12 clients and four employees. ALC's main office is in Princeton, NJ.

Britt Vatne, who served as executive vice president of MaxDirect, was named vice president at ALC. She has been with Novus for 12 years and through its transitions. Former Novus president Joanne Capria will stay on as a consultant. The five employees from ALC's Stamford, CT, office moved to Valhalla. Rappaport said that further movement was possible. He also said that more acquisitions were a possibility but did not elaborate.

Talks between the two companies began in late October. MaxWorldwide president/CEO Mitchell Cannold said he met with several large list companies and decided that ALC best served its interest.

"Our perspective was that size matters in the marketplace," he said of choosing ALC. "We weren't a big player in that market."

Cannold said MaxWorldwide had to choose between its online division, MaxOnline, and MaxDirect, and decided to sell the latter. Though the terms of the deal were not revealed, he admitted that since MaxWorldwide is a publicly traded company, details would become available at a later date.

The company is left with its MaxOnline and MaxCreative divisions. Cannold said the online division was profitable. MaxWorldwide was delisted from Nasdaq in August after failing to file its quarterly report on time. Its stock was trading at 42 cents yesterday.

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