The deal, worth $120 million, merges a database marketing giant with one of the best-known names in e-mail.
Bigfoot Interactive has agreed to be acquired by Epsilon, the U.S. data management subsidiary of financial and marketing services firm Alliance Data Systems (ADS). The purchase price is approximately $120 million.
Bigfoot is among the largest and best-known standalone email marketing firm in the U.S., with 85 full-time staff and approximately 160 brands in its client roster. The company enjoys strong ties to the Direct Marketing Association and its members, and retains seats on the group's ethics and email append committees.
"We're on the road to building this multi-channel marketing services giant in the marketplace," Bigfoot CEO Al DiGuido told ClickZ News. "Where these types of deals have gone wrong in the past is the clash of cultures and force fitting one in the other. I can tell you from the outset it seemed... very much a hand-in-glove relationship."
DiGuido was named president of Epsilon Interactive, an expanded role that will give him oversight of all sales and marketing for the online-focused division. Other Bigfoot execs, including CMO Michael Della Penna and CTO Ragy Thomas, will also receive expanded roles at Epsilon. The companies expect all of Bigfoot's employees to stay on after the acquisition goes through.
ADS said it expects its purchase of Bigfoot to give it a stronger presence in financial and retail verticals, as well as better integration of email with its clients cross-media marketing plans.
"Bigfoot Interactive brings with it attractive leveragability and a business model that addresses both the significant demand for, and the market's rapid growth of, multi-channel marketing services, technologies and database solutions," said Epsilon President Mike Iaccarino.
The companies said the acquisition will close this fall.
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Until March 2012, Zach Rodgers was managing editor of ClickZ's award-winning coverage of news and trends in digital marketing. He reported on the rise of web companies, data markets, ad technologies, and government Internet policy, among other subjects.
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