ValueClick Buys Web Clients for $141M

Online marketing firm ValueClick has agreed to buy Web Marketing Holdings, which does business as Web Clients, for approximately $141 million. The deal gives ValueClick more than 100 promotional Web sites, which lets it offer media directly to advertisers.

Harrisburg, Penn.-based Web Clients runs Web sites focused primarily on generating leads for advertisers, charging on a cost-per-acquisition (CPA) or cost-per-lead basis. Those sites include americanbeautysweepstakes.com, hartfordopiniongroup.com and designerbag4free.com. Web Clients also possesses an opt-in email business and operates a 1,500-strong affiliate network. Last year, it generated approximately $59 million in revenue and was profitable, according to ValueClick.

ValueClick CEO James Zarley said the Web Clients buy is consistent with the company’s strategy of beginning to own some of its own traffic. The company is doing something similar with the purchase and expansion of the Pricerunner shopping search engine and has been building some of its own sites as part of ValueClick Media.

“Web Clients offers promotional online content that we can leverage across our product portfolio and advertiser base, as well as greater scale for our existing lead-generation and email products,” said Zarley, in a statement.

The acquired company’s CEO, Josh Gray, will join ValueClick’s senior management team and continue to head up Web Clients. No layoffs or relocations are planned. Web Clients will become part of ValueClick’s Media unit.

ValueClick is paying $122 million in cash, approximately 1.8 million ValueClick shares and around 350,000 options to purchase shares. The deal is expected to close in July.

Separately, ValueClick also agreed to purchase E-Babylon, a retailer of ink and toner products, for $14.7 million in cash. The company said the purchase will serve as a foundation of ValueClick’s e-commerce business and will be integrated into its Hi-Speed Media unit.

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