EDirect.com, Naviant to Merge

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Opt-in e-mail firm eDirect.com and database concern Naviant Marketing Solutions have agreed to merge.


Under the agreement, the terms of which were not disclosed, Naviant will be absorbed into eDirect.com. The name of the new firm will more than likely be Naviant, however, said Scott Hirsch, COO of eDirect.com, Boca Raton, FL. "It really is a strong name in the marketplace," he said.


Naviant handles hi-tech product registrations for companies like Hewlett Packard. Since the registrations are done online, Naviant's database includes e-mail addresses and corresponding physical addresses, a combination marketers are increasingly calling for from e-mail firms.


Edirect.com gathers e-mail names and physical addresses mainly through sweepstakes and contests on a network of Web sites. It also collects self-reported interests.


"We're going to take these two sources of data and merge them," Hirsch said. "The combined entity will have more than 60 million e-mail names. Our goal is to be the largest single source of opt in names."


The new company's revenue is projected to be $75 million in 2002 "with a significant profit," Hirsch said.


Also as a result of the deal, Naviant will close its Boston, Philadelphia and Atlanta offices and consolidate them into a New York sales office.


Naviant founder Charles Stryker will stay on as chairman of the combined entity. Naviant's vice president of sales, Tom Hickey, will remain with the company as senior vice president of sales in New York City. Ray Butkus will assume a consulting role. The new company's headquarters will be in Boca Raton.


The deal is expected to close in 45 days. EDirect is also looking to make other acquisitions, Hirsch said.


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