ImageX.com Adds Creativepro.com to Roster

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Creativepro.com Inc. last week became a wholly owned subsidiary of graphics e-commerce destination ImageX.com, which purchased the Portland, OR-based software firm for $87.2 million of its common stock and $9.9 million cash.


ImageX.com offers direct marketers a network of five print online centers that allows customers to find vendors that meet the particular needs for all areas of print production, including machinery specifications and real-time order updates.


Creativepro.com president/CEO Craig Barnes said the deal would allow his company to better compete in the graphics software market because of ImageX.com's strong investor backing and 4,100 registered printers. His company expects to have a link at ImageX.com's four other sites as the firms finalize the agreement in the coming months.


"It gives us the chance to take the business to the next level," Barnes said. "Obviously, I would have liked to IPO the company as an independent owner, but in the end, this is good for everyone. And not to sound corny, but this will be better for our customers as well."


The deal marks the fourth acquisition for ImageX.com in the past year as it looks to gain from Creativepro.com's 1 million incremental customers, including more than 12 major publishing and catalog firms. Creativepro.com also will be featured at ImageX.com's printplace.com, which aggregates the Bellevue, WA-based company's thousands of registered print industry vendors.


ImageX.com president/CEO Rich Begert said printplace.com lowers prices for direct marketers, citing the Web site's financial benefits of no sales commission and an order error rate of less than 0.5 percent last year.


"I could argue that the work I send a vendor is more profitable than the work he can get himself," he said.


Begert added that ImageX.com was seeking content providers to improve the depth of the site's editorial and industry information.


"Frankly, we have a lot more commerce than content right now," he said. To join the site as an industry news or information provider, "you have to have deep content - nothing superficial or redundant to what we already have." n
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