*Florence Inks Deal to Buy Back Direct Media

Share this content:
The world's largest list management and brokerage company became an independent entity again Friday when Direct Media founder Dave Florence negotiated an agreement to buy the Greenwich, CT, company back from Acxiom Corp., according to a senior DMI executive who asked to remain anonymous.


A group of about 10-20 Direct Media employees will own 51 percent of the company in a deal that will be financed by Acxiom, the Conway, AR, database services provider that acquired Direct Media in 1996 for $25 million in stock. The new ownership group will not include Florence, who remains CEO. Other top executives will include Max Bartko, who was recently named group president of sales and marketing.


The exact terms of the acquisition were not immediately available, although sources said the buyout group would have the option to acquire the remaining 49 percent of Direct Media after seven years. A five-member executive board will include two Acxiom appointments.


The deal, which had been expected, ends months of turmoil surrounding the ownership status of Direct Media, which Acxiom decided to sell last year because Direct Media's revenues were not growing at the rate Acxiom demands of its subsidiary businesses. Insiders and other industry observers have said that a severe culture clash prevented the two companies from integrating smoothly, although Direct Media reportedly did become a more efficient operation under Acxiom's strict fiscal controls.


Last spring, American List Counsel, the Princeton, NJ-based list firm that had been the largest independent list management and brokerage house, was exploring the possibility of a merger with Direct Media, and other acquisition scenarios unfolded later in the year.


At one point, Ralph Drybrough and Mark Joyce, the two top executives in Direct Media's business-to-business list division, were planning a buyout of that portion of the company. Acxiom rejected their plan, Drybrough said, and both men have since left Direct Media.
close

Next Article in Marketing Strategy

Sign up to our newsletters

Company of the Week

Brightcove is the world's leading video platform. The most innovative and respected brands confidently rely on Brightcove to solve their most demanding communication challenges because of the unmatched performance and flexibility of our platform, our global scale and reliability, and our award-winning service. With thousands of customers and an industry-leading suite of cloud video products, Brightcove enables customers to drive compelling business results.

Find out more here »

Career Center

Check out hundreds of exciting professional opportunities available on DMN's Career Center.  
Explore careers in digital marketing, sales, eCommerce, marketing communications, IT, data strategies, and much more. And don't forget to update your resume so employers can contact you privately about job opportunities.

>>Click Here

Relive the 2017 Marketing Hall of Femme

Click the image above