Equifax Buys Naviant

Credit reporting giant Equifax is acquiring consumer profile and e-marketing company Naviant in a $135 million deal that will allow for the combination of both companies’ extensive databases.

Naviant’s email database consists of more than 100 million unique permission-based addresses, following its merger last year with eDirect.

“Naviant accelerates our strategy of growth through the enrichment of our data assets and strategic acquisitions,” said Thomas F. Chapman, Equifax chairman and CEO, making no bones about the fact that Naviant’s email databases will be combined with Equifax’s extensive marketing data and technology.

Boca Raton, Fla.-based Naviant, founded in 1997, recently acquired the email unit of online ad network 24/7 Real Media , creating one of the largest players in the space.

Atlanta-based Equifax said the acquisition would provide a “significant new distribution channel for (its) rapidly growing Direct to Consumer business.

The transaction is expected to be neutral to 2002 earnings and accretive in 2003, Equifax said. Naviant is expected to post revenues of about $60 million this year.

Naviant’s CEO Michael Brauser will continue to oversee day-to-day operations. Naviant also acquired both SweepsClub.com Inc., which specializes in reward-based email marketing and postal direct-mail marketer Data One Marketing. Naviant clients include AT&T, Circuit City, Microsoft, Oracle and Pizza Hut, among others.

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