[copperpress-advertserve-ad-reload zone="3"]
 November 19, 1999

Abacus Direct merger to ‘unclutter’ market

BROOMFIELD — The Broomfield-based Abacus Direct Corp.’s merger with New York City-based DoubleClick Inc., announced June 14, is moving along according to plan and is expected to close following a shareholder vote scheduled for Nov. 23.

“We’ve cleared all of the regulatory hurdles,´ said Carlos Sala, Abacus’ chief financial officer.

Before the announcement, Abacus, a provider of data to the direct marketing industry, had been looking to expand its operations to the World Wide Web to complement what it offers to purveyors of mail- and print-based marketers. Its current products are based on the country’s largest proprietary transactional database, which covers the catalog-buying behavior of 88 million U.S. households.

“What happened was we were looking for strategic alternatives on the Internet,” Sala explained. In the end, “It didn’t make sense to replicate something that had already been done,” he noted of the rationale behind the pending merger. Following the decision to pursue a merger, DoubleClick, which specializes in Internet advertising sales and delivery, entered the picture. Both companies saw benefits to the transaction, benefits that they hope to enjoy soon.

“DoubleClick is the leader online, Abacus is the leader offline, so together we’ll bring advertisers the greatest benefits,´ said Amy Shapiro, a spokeswoman for DoubleClick.

On Abacus Direct’s future, Sala said the company is looking to do the same things online that they have previously done in the offline world: “unclutter” the marketplace and eliminate wasted ad dollars. “(The merger) will allow us to do some real targeting online,” he said. “What happens now is advertisers on the Web are not targeted and (are) largely irrelevant.”

While many consumers cringe at the idea of data about their purchase patterns being sold, Sala argued that a better advertising focus is beneficial to all involved parties. “If we can just do something that’s relevant (to the consumer), everybody wins,” he said.

“In the end the winners are going to be the most relevant ads that people actually click through on and buy something,” Sala said. By targeting specific ads at Internet users based on their previous purchase patterns, he continued, e-merchants will be able to advertise in a more efficient manner.

“The synergy between the two organizations should be profound, from a marketing standpoint,´ said Bill Nicolai, senior vice president of marketing for Portland, Ore.-based Good Catalog Co., an Abacus client for seven years. “(Abacus’ database) has been a major source of our customer acquisition, and we also use it to reactivate existing customers,” he noted, adding that the combined resources of Abacus and DoubleClick will provide a “major focus” in the continuing development of Good Catalog’s online operations.

“It’s going to take a while to sort it out,” Nicolai speculated, adding that he is optimistic the match ultimately will prove ideal.

The merger, by which DoubleClick will acquire Abacus for $1 billion, has proven a boon for Abacus’ market capitalization, which has jumped from $470 million to $1.25 billion in the past year. Based on this, Sala noted he “absolutely” expects shareholders to approve the merger.

Kevin O’Connor, DoubleClick’s chairman and chief executive officer, will serve in the same positions for the combined company, while Tony White, Abacus’ founder, chairman and CEO, will join DoubleClick’s board of directors.

Abacus Direct will retain its name and Broomfield location after the merger. DoubleClick, which maintains 28 sales offices on four continents, will likely relocate some staff to the Abacus headquarters.

“They clearly will put people here associated with data,” Sala said.

Since few big advertisers are located in the Rocky Mountain region, however, DoubleClick has no plans to open a Colorado-based sales office.

BROOMFIELD — The Broomfield-based Abacus Direct Corp.’s merger with New York City-based DoubleClick Inc., announced June 14, is moving along according to plan and is expected to close following a shareholder vote scheduled for Nov. 23.

“We’ve cleared all of the regulatory hurdles,´ said Carlos Sala, Abacus’ chief financial officer.

Before the announcement, Abacus, a provider of data to the direct marketing industry, had been looking to expand its operations to the World Wide Web to complement what it offers to purveyors of mail- and print-based marketers. Its current products are based on the country’s largest proprietary transactional database, which covers the…

[copperpress-advertserve-ad-reload zone="3"]

Related Content

[copperpress-advertserve-ad-interstitial zone="30"]