Epsilon completes Abacus acquisition

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Integrated marketing services provider Epsilon has completed its purchase of Abacus, a data and database marketing services provider to multichannel catalogers, retailers, online merchants and business-to-business marketers.

Dallas-based Epsilon on Dec. 28 announced the agreement to acquire Lafayette, CO-based Abacus, a DoubleClick property that was last sold in 1999 for $1 billion.

Epsilon paid $435 million in cash for the company. The deal, which was expected to close in 30 days from the Dec. 28 date with government approval, gives Epsilon access to Abacus' consumer and business cooperative databases with transaction information, analytics services and custom marketing database design and management.

More than 1,500 catalogers, retailers and e-commerce players, including Patagonia, Sur La Table and Brookstone, use Abacus products and services.

Founded in 1969, Epsilon offers services such as strategic consulting, creative, data, database and loyalty technology, e-mail, analytics and direct marketing distribution programs.

The company comprises five business groups including strategic database services, interactive services (formerly Epsilon Interactive), agency and direct services, data services (formerly CPC Associates Inc.) and retail services.

Epsilon works with more than 2,200 brands and has offices throughout the United States, Europe and Asia.

The company is part of Dallas-based Alliance Data Systems Corp., a provider of transaction, credit, loyalty and marketing services. The 8,000-employee Dallas company owns the Air Miles coalition loyalty program and manages more than 105 million consumer relationships for clients

Abacus, with its many clients and data on more than 5 billion consumer transactions, will serve as the cornerstone of Epsilon's retail offering.

Abacus' Brian Rainey will remain Abacus' top executive and will become president of Epsilon's newest group, retail services, reporting to Michael Iaccarino, president/CEO of Epsilon.

Epsilon's other groups include strategic database services, interactive services, agency and direct services and data services.

Abacus will operate as a business under the Epsilon brand, keeping its 525 employees across offices in Lafayette, CO; Schaumburg, IL; and Britain. Its British presence will strengthen Epsilon's standing in European retail database marketing

This is Epsilon's second purchase from DoubleClick, which was bought by San Francisco private equity group Hellman & Friedman in 2005 for $1.1 billion. In April, Epsilon bought DoubleClick's DART e-mail solution for $90 million.

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