Alliance Data Systems Corporation (NYSE: ADS) has announced that its Epsilon Business unit has agreed to acquire Aspen Marketing Services. Epsilon's agency business and Aspen will be integrated into one agency marketing platform operating under the Aspen Marketing Services name.
Aspen offers a range of digital and direct marketing services and advanced analytics to perform data-driven customer acquisition and retention campaigns. Aspen will be added to Epsilon's database, analytics and distribution offerings.
ADS said the Aspen Marketing acquisition will give Epsilon added presence in the automotive, telecom and financial services industries and will boost cross-selling opportunities into Aspen's and Epsilon's established vertical markets.
Bryan Kennedy, president of Epsilon, said in a statement, "Aspen is a well-admired, innovative agency that is a perfect fit for Epsilon. We are committed to transforming our agency business to become a market leader, and this acquisition is a very strategic and important move in that direction. Combined, our two entities will drive impactful programs for our clients through the creation of relevant brand experiences for consumers from concept and strategy to dynamic communications and interactions via online and offline channels."
Aspen is projected to generate $250 million in revenue and $40 million in EBITDA in 2011. Alliance Data will pay $345 million plus a working capital adjustment for the company. It is also expected that all of Aspen's management and 750 employees will stay on, adding "significant capabilities and expertise" to Epsilon's agency business. Epsilon is expecting a run rate of approximately $1 billion in annual revenues in 2012.
ADS said that the acquisition will complete the build-out of Epsilon's end-to-end marketing offering by bolstering its agency business and enhancing Epsilon's five critical components of an end-to-end solution, which are: Agency/creative, Data, Database, Analytics and Distribution. The transaction is expected to close in the second quarter, pending customary regulatory approvals and closing conditions.
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