E-Dialog sold to GSI for $157M

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E-commerce services firm GSI Commerce Inc. has signed a definitive agreement to acquire e-mail marketing services firm e-Dialog Inc. in a $157 million deal.

The acquisition expands GSI's interactive marketing services and international reach.

John Rizzi, president/CEO of e-Dialog, who will continue to lead the firm post-acquisition, said the buy was expected. “Last year we started to get a lot of interest and we narrowed it down to GSI because the connection between e-mail and e-commerce couldn't be more perfect.”

Under the definitive agreement, which has been approved by the boards of directors of both companies and the shareholders of e-Dialog, GSI will acquire privately held e-Dialog for $147.8 in cash and $9.2 million worth of restricted shares of GSI Commerce. The restricted shares will go entirely to e-Dialog employees.

In addition, GSI Commerce will be obligated to make an additional cash payment of $750,000 in fiscal 2009 if net revenue targets are achieved in fiscal 2008.

E-Dialog will operate as a wholly owned subsidiary of GSI, keeping its name, offices and employees. According to Rizzi, the cultural fit is good, both companies being start-ups around the same 10-year age. He said that the two technologies will be interconnected rather than integrated, stressing that e-Dialog will continue its growth trajectory, which includes plans to hire 130 new employees this year. Both firms will keep their existing clients, but will offer the new e-mail and e-commerce service as a value-added proposition.

The acquisition is expected to close within 30 days and is subject to customary closing conditions.

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