Valassis Acquires Majority Stake in PreVision Marketing

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Valassis Communications said yesterday that it acquired 80 percent of PreVision Marketing, a customer relationship management firm, for an undisclosed amount of cash and stock.

PreVision, which Valassis said had sales of $14 million last year, provides consulting and technology services to help its clients create individualized marketing promotions. It also markets some data mining software and other products.

A spokeswoman for Valassis said the "real gain" for Valassis is in the acquisition of PreVision's customer analytics services.

Valassis, Livonia, MI, distributes coupons and advertising materials through newspaper inserts, direct mail and the Internet. It said the acquisition would help it expand its range of clients beyond its core base of supermarket chains.

Clients of PreVision, Lincoln, MA, include Toys 'R' Us, US West, Gap, Bose, Qwest,, Talbots and the U.S. Postal Service, in addition to grocery retailers Giant Eagle and Ahold's Stop & Shop.

PreVision was founded in 1993 and employs 150 people. It was owned by its three co-founders, Deborah Pine, Dierdre Girard and Cliff Blake.

Valassis said it expected the acquisition to negatively affect its earnings by about 4 cents to 8 cents per share for the next 18 months.

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