Halsey Goes Beyond E-mail With Two Acquisitions

J.L. Halsey Corporation, a marketing services holding company best known for its e-mail brands, opened its checkbook once again to acquire two companies in order to augment its offerings beyond e-mail. The firm is also hoping to strengthen its ability to serve mid-market clients through the deals.

In an agreement that closed quietly Friday and was made public Monday, Halsey paid $7.7 million dollars in cash and $2.9 million dollars of its common stock, to buy CA-based Web analytics firm ClickTracks. Halsey also brokered a deal to acquire Canada’s Web content management software provider Hot Banana for $1.9 million Canadian dollars in cash. Both deals could require additional payments by Halsey if specific targets are met.

Halsey CMO Loren McDonald told ClickZ, “These acquisitions are good for the strategy we see going forward…The greatest opportunity is in middle markets, down to the lower markets.” McDonald defined mid- to lower-market businesses primarily as companies with two to ten people in the marketing department. Most of those clients will be agencies that want to define their analytics, without putting a huge amount of resources behind that process.

“We see these smaller departments, and they really want these systems to be integrated. They want to be able to look at analytics and reports and have them make sense.”

Halsey’s strategy to serve these mid-level shops has been mainly through acquisitions. It bought e-mail marketing technology firms Lyris and Uptilt, owner of E-mailLabs, last year.

“We see agencies as the low hanging fruits,” McDonald commented. However, over the long haul, the firm plans on targeting “key verticals for bigger players,” he continued.

McDonald promised there would be no layoffs and no restructuring as a result of the acquisitions. Like Halsey’s other acquisitions, ClickTracks and Hot Banana will remain independent subsidiaries of Halsey.

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