EBSCO acquires Hallmark Data Systems

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Hallmark Data Systems, a circulation fulfillment provider for the b-to-b sector, was sold to EBSCO Industries Inc. earlier this week.

Hallmark Data Systems, previously owned by private equity firm Tinicum Capital Partners, services more than 400 titles. The company, based in Skokie, IL, will run as an autonomous business unit within EBSCO industries, retaining its brand and all current employees and clients.

“We really appreciate that EBSCO had the confidence to merge with us and bring us into the family of businesses,” said Ray Miller, chairman of Hallmark Data Systems. “We feel we have good job security with them, and they'll let us run the business as we see fit.”

The companies would not divulge the cost of the acquisition.

EBSCO has partnerships with more than 78,000 publishers and already provides fulfillment services in the medical, science and academic sectors. The company is diversified into more than 40 businesses, including: subscription provider, publisher of journal article databases, manufacturing fishing lures and real estate development, and is heavily focused on acquisition as part of its business strategy.

David Walker, VP of acquisitions at EBSCO Industries, said, “Hallmark Data Systems was a natural fit for us to leverage EBSCO's relationships in the publishing industry and add fulfillment as a service we provide in the b-to-b sector.”

Miller said that EBSCO's diverse offerings could be beneficial to Hallmark clients, citing EBSCO's telemarketing operation, EBSCO TeleServices, as an example.

“Almost every one of our customers uses telemarketing, and most pretty extensively,” said Miller. “EBSCO also owns MetaPress, which is a leader in distributing digital content, and that is becoming more prevalent in our client list.”

EBSCO is based in Birmingham, AL. 2006 sales were $2.3 billion, according to Hoover's Inc.

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