ABI Buys JAMI; Deal Tops $10M

Vin Gupta is staying true to his word. The ambitious chairman of American Business Information (ABI), Omaha, NE, said after the March acquisition of Walter Karl Inc. that he would continue to target list companies with revenues in excess of $5 million. ABI did just that May 28 by purchasing JAMI Marketing Services Inc., Pearl River, NY. Gupta would not disclose the purchase price but said it was in the $10 million-plus range. JAMI is a full-service list management and brokerage provider and service bureau that specializes in package inserts, free-standing inserts and other alternative media. Its 1997 revenues were in excess of $40 million, and its clients include Sara Lee, Sharper Image and American Express. JAMI will be integrated with Walter Karl and Database America (DBA) to strengthen ABI's ability to be a one-stop shop for clients. “The East Coast is definitely the nerve center of the direct marketing industry. A lot of these companies started out 25-30 years ago as pioneers in the industry, and it's very nice to put them under one roof,'' Gupta said. “JAMI has a very nice customer list. They are always loyal and have been there for a long time.” JAMI co-president Michael Miller said the merger will eliminate the need for his company to acquire data from a third-party vendor. He expects JAMI to benefit from ABI's vision of consolidation. “I think they are going to revolutionize the list industry as we know it today,” Miller said. “No one has had an acquisition-minded strategy like ABI that will utilize every economy and every collective marketing strength that possibly exists in the direct response service industry.” DBA will move into an expanded headquarters in fall 1999 in Ramapo, NY, minutes from the JAMI offices. Whether JAMI also will move into the new facility is yet to be determined.

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