Direct Media, Paradysz Matera Announce Merger

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Direct Media Inc. and Paradysz Matera yesterday announced a merger in which a holding company will own the two companies, with each firm having a 50 percent stake, said David W. Florence, chairman of Direct Media.

Paradysz Matera CEO Chris Paradysz called the partnership "[a] merger of equals, with both organizations bringing their strengths together to make something stronger and better with more resources."

Talks between Florence and Paradysz began about four weeks ago, and both said similar philosophies made the deal an easy decision.

"We're both mailer advocates, we both say if it works for the clients we don't have to worry about anything else," Florence said.

Though the services of the firms overlap somewhat, each has unique elements that the other expects to tap.

Direct Media, founded by Florence in 1969, focuses on consumer and business-to-business list brokerage and management. Though Acxiom Corp. acquired Direct Media in 1996, Florence and other Direct Media employees bought back 51 percent of the firm in February 2000 and the remaining 49 percent about six months later.

Paradysz founded Paradysz Matera in 1988 as Paradysz Group. In 1990, Angelo Matera joined the firm as a partner, prompting the name change. Matera has retired from the firm. The company specializes in research and analysis with a 14-member research staff as well as list brokerage.

Paradysz Matera has locations in New York, Minneapolis, San Francisco and East Brunswick, NJ. Direct Media is based in Greenwich, CT, with satellite offices in Chicago, Toronto, Kansas City, Port Chester, NY, and Conway, AR.

Florence and Paradysz said that the integration would be done slowly.

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