Direct Media, Acxiom Consider Options

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The management team at list company Direct Media, Greenwich, CT, is mulling over three options for the restructure of the company, sources said this week. The company's publicly held parent, Acxiom Corp., Conway, AR, is expected to reach an agreement on the intended direction of the division as soon as next week.


One scenario, which reportedly is supported by some of Direct Media's personnel and could be the most likely outcome, would involve restructuring Direct Media's operations but not selling the company. Direct Media would remain a division of Acxiom but would no longer operate under Acxiom's management. Acxiom would split any profits generated by the division with the company's management.


Another option calls for dividing into two different companies, one specializing in consumer lists and the other in business lists, both of which would remain partially owned by Acxiom. According to some sources, Direct Media's management would pay in the neighborhood of $17 million for an unknown stake in the business division and $27 million for an unknown stake in the consumer division.


A third scenario would be for Acxiom to sell Direct Media to a third party, which would need to meet the approval of Direct Media's list brokers. A previous letter of intent for American List Counsel Inc., Princeton, NJ, to acquire Direct Media expired last month after Direct Media's brokers indicated that they did not support the sale.


Acxiom, which earlier this year said it would seek to restructure or sell Direct Media because it was not meeting its profit targets, declined to comment on the restructuring process.
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