CoolSavings Takes on Strategic Investor

CoolSavings, an Internet coupon and relationship marketing company, said that Australian-based international property and financial services group Lend Lease acquired a 10% interest in the company for $5 million.

Lend Lease has options to increase its holding up to 30%, and under the terms of the agreement, the Lend Lease Group will also provide financial and managerial expertise.

“This agreement represents an important step in our company’s move to become the Internet’s search engine for consumer savings and one-to-one marketing,” said Steve Golden, CoolSavings chairman and CEO. “Lend Lease’s global financial and management expertise combined with our U.S. patent will help CoolSavings expand both our service offerings and our market share in the United States and worldwide.”

Established in 1958, Lend Lease is an international property and financial services group with more than $46 billion in funds under management. It has investments worldwide in information technology, real estate investments, funds management, life insurance, property development, project management and construction, real estate services and capital services and equity investments.

“The Internet represents a significant opportunity to build store traffic and develop long term relationships with customers,” said Lynette Mayne, CEO of Lend Lease IT+T Investments. “We looked for a company that could bridge the gap between the virtual world of the Internet and the real-world of retail sales. CoolSavings does this extremely well.”

Launched in March 1997, CoolSavings clients include more than 30 national advertisers such as J.C. Penney, Kmart, Alamo Rent A Car, Barnes & Noble, Chuck E Cheese’s, Pearle Vision, Sears, ServiceMaster, Fashion Bug, Blockbuster Video, McDonald’s, Kinney Shoes, United Airlines, Norwegian Cruise Line, Choice Hotels and Domino’s Pizza.

CoolSavings claims more than 1.1 million registered shoppers and is projected to grow to more than 2.0 million shoppers by September. The site receives nearly 1.3 million unique visits each month and is growing at a rate of three to four thousand shopper registrations each day, the company said.

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