Infogroup sells research unit to private equity firm

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Database company Infogroup sold its research branch, Opinion Research Company International (ORC), to Chicago-based private equity firm Lake Capital Management.  

Infogroup president and CEO Clare Hart said July 7 that the sale will allow Infogroup to concentrate on consumer data, list management and brokerage, multichannel marketing and sales enablement.

“The sale creates an opportunity for us to focus our resources on the focus of our business,” she said. Hart declined to provide specifics, saying only that the sale is “part of an ongoing effort to concentrate resources to the most important areas.”

Marc Litvinoff, CEO of ORC, said in a statement: “Lake Capital is a great fit for ORC, as it will give us the flexibility to invest in high-growth opportunities that will further enhance our existing research offerings to clients and expand our global footprint.”

ORC, which was acquired by Infogroup in 2006 for $134.3 million, will be independently run, according to a statement.

About 400 full-time employees, or approximately 15% of Infogroup's full-time workforce, will move to Lake Capital Management as part of the transaction. Infogroup began a round of layoffs June 30 that reportedly cut 140 jobs.

Infogroup removed Mike Hilts, president of its interactive unit, and Tim Price, the unit's SVP of sales and marketing, from their positions May 9. In addition, the company recently began an initiative to consolidate its disparate business units.

Lake Capital declined to comment on the deal.

In a recent Q&A with Direct Marketing News, Hart said Infogroup would focus its investments on data, which she referred to as “the nucleus of the company.” Hart also mentioned email acquisition, retention and campaign management as other key areas of investment.

To read the Direct Marketing News Agency Business Report profile of Infogroup, click here.  

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