Protagona Worldwide Buys Swetenhams

Protagona Worldwide, Chicago, a marketing automation software provider, said yesterday it would acquire Swetenhams Marketing Services, a privately held company in Richmond, Surrey, UK.

The purchase involves an initial payment of $3.8 million in cash and $148.2 million in new Protagona shares. A further payment will be made in loan notes worth up to $1.4 million subject to the financial performance of the enlarged group.

The deal is subject to shareholder approval at a meeting Sept. 19.

The combined business will operate under the Protagona name. Bryan Black, Protagona's chief executive, will become chief executive of the combined company.

Swetenhams chief executive Simon Swetenham will become the single-largest shareholder in the company and remain active in the daily running of the business in the UK. The combined company will focus on new growth opportunities in the United States and internationally.

The combined company will have more than 230 clients, including some of the world's largest mailers.

Swetenhams was established in 1991 and has achieved 63 percent growth in the past two years, taking annual revenue to more than GBP $13.9 million in 2001. The company provides services and software to customers in industries including finance, leisure, entertainment, retail, publishing, technology, mail order and fundraising.

According to both companies, merging Protagona and Swetenhams product and service offerings will enable the company to offer data-driven marketing services and software solutions for customer acquisition and retention.

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