KnowledgeBase Buys Kestnbaum Consulting Firm

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CHICAGO--KnowledgeBase Marketing Inc., Chapel Hill, NC, has agreed to buy consulting firm Kestnbaum & Co., Chicago. The announcement will be made today here at the National Center for Database Marketing's 22nd National Conference & Exhibition in Orlando, FL. The closing will take place Jan. 4.

Kestnbaum -- which focuses on behavior analysis, strategic business consulting and database marketing -- will become a division of KnowledgeBase and will be responsible for all of the strategic analysis work. The division will report directly to KnowledgeBase CEO Tim Toben.

"Kestnbaum is very solid in the strategic database consulting space, and I think it will fit very well with KBM," said Janet DelGiudice, an analyst at Salomon Smith Barney.

KnowledgeBase would not reveal revenues, earnings, number of employees or purchase price for Kestnbaum, but said it soon will announce partnerships in the data warehousing space.

"We have known Kestnbaum since we started the company, [through] client relationships and the industry, and we are thrilled that [Kestnbaum] was available and interested in combining with KBM," Toben said.

Bob Kestnbaum, who plans to retire as president of Kestnbaum, said his company wanted to combine with another firm that offered data warehouse development and could hold client data. Since the industry is going through a consolidation trend, many companies are looking for bigger players to work with. After discussions with four companies, Kestnbaum decided KnowledgeBase would provide the best framework.

"We felt a high level of synergy between what we do and what they do and in the ways in which we could interface with their company," he said.

This is not the first time Kestnbaum has combined with another company. In 1988, it was purchased by Andersen Consulting but bought itself back in 1990.

Toben said Kestnbaum will bring a significant enhancement to the analytic and consulting area in a range of vertical industries that his company hasn't operated in, such as hi-tech, automotive and health care. KnowledgeBase has experience in the retail, financial services, telecommunications, energy and insurance industries.

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