E-Centives Acquires BrightStreet

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Online direct marketing services provider e-centives Inc. announced yesterday that it has acquired the assets of promotions firm BrightStreet Inc.


BrightStreet sold the assets for $1.6 million in cash up front, and up to $4 million and 750,000 shares of e-centive's stock based on the performance of the assets.


Key to the acquisition for e-centives is BrightStreet's data tracking and reporting abilities, according to Dadi Akhavan, executive vice president and co-founder of e-centives, Bethesda, MD.


"This appeals very much to the consumer packaged goods industry," he said. "The CPG companies don't have a direct relationship with consumers."


BrightStreet reportedly has about 20 employees in a San Francisco office. They will continue to work for e-centives, according to Akhavan.


BrightStreet has a "few large customers," he said, among them Nestle's pet food division and Lycos.


Also key to the acquisition was that BrightStreet has broad patent protection, according to Akhavan.


However, according to Securities and Exchange Commission documents filed yesterday, disputes have arisen over terms of a settlement BrightStreet reached with online couponer CoolSavings (www.coolsavings.com ) in October.


"If the lawsuit does not settle, [CoolSavings] could seek an injunction and monetary damages should it prevail on liability issues," the document said.


E-centives launched in November of 1998 under the company name Emaginet, offering personalized coupons from 60 online and offline merchants at www.ecentives.com.


The company has since evolved into a promotions service provider that also offers e-mail outsourcing. Among its e-mail customers are CatalogCity, Restoration Hardware and Frederick's of Hollywood.


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