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BrandEra.com Acquires Black Book Marketing Group for $3.5 Million

In an effort to beef up its online talent listings, advertising and marketing portal BrandEra.com Inc. this week bought the Black Book Marketing Group, a publisher of talent source books for advertisers and marketers.

BrandEra.com (BRND) is paying for the company by issuing two million shares of its common stock, which was valued at $1 3/4 at Tuesday's close. Based on that price, the deal is worth $3.5 million.

The Black Book directories, which help around 30,000 marketing and advertising professionals every year in choosing photographers, illustrators, and graphic designers, are basically the offline analogue to what BrandEra.com is doing online with Portfolios.com and adsGallery.com.

"In becoming part of BrandEra.com, we seized the opportunity to integrate our know-how with a leader in the 'new economy' for the marketing communications industry," said Christina Holbrook, president of the Black Book Marketing Group.

"We'll be able to offer our creative talent a broad range of digital tools and new media opportunities with which to enhance their businesses online."

Holbrook will continue in her role as president of Black Book, and will also take on the job of vice president of sales for BrandEra.com. Black Book has been in the traditional publishing business for 30 years and also has an online service.

"The acquisition of The Black Book offers BrandEra many immediate benefits, including top line revenues, a strong brand and customer relationships, an experienced national sales and customer service team, high-end publishing capabilities, and a significant presence in New York," said Robert Aronoff, chief operating officer, BrandEra.com.