Acxiom to Acquire Digital Impact

Digital Impact has agreed to be acquired by data management and marketing giant Acxiom in a deal valued at approximately $140 million — significantly more than InfoUSA had offered in its hostile takeover attempt.

Digital Impact rebuffed InfoUSA’s attempted acquisition of the online marketing company. While InfoUSA offered approximately $2 per share, Acxiom will pay $3.50.

For Acxiom, the deal will bring a much larger presence in online marketing. Its clients will use Digital Impact’s platform to deploy campaigns in numerous channels, including email, Web sites, display ads and search. It’s the company’s boldest foray yet into digital marketing. In January, Acxiom acquired SmartDM, an integrated direct marketing firm.

“While we have provided a certain level of e-marketing capability, we have not been positioned to meet all the demands of the marketplace,” said Charles Morgan, Acxiom’s chairman, during a call announcing the acquisition. “With Digital Impact, we will now be able to meet those needs.”

Acxiom will form a new enterprise through the merger of Digital Impact and several of its complementary holdings. Digital Impact CEO William Park will lead that unit.

Additionally, Park said Digital Impact clients will benefit from access to Acxiom’s data and expertise. Digital Impact recently added Sun Microsystems and Audible to its client roster.

Both companies’ boards have approved the deal, which is expected to close within 30 days, pending regulatory approval. The sale represents considerably more money for Digital Impact’s shareholders than the unsolicited bid put forth by InfoUSA last month. Digital Impact anticipates 2005 revenues of $42 million.

Digital Impact’s 280 employees are distributed among offices in San Mateo, New York, London, Singapore and Bend, Oregon. Acxiom is based in Little Rock, Arkansas.

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