RealTime IT News

Alliance Data Pays $435M for Abacus

Credit-card payment processor Alliance Data Systems said its Epsilon marketing unit will pay $435 million for retail data services company Abacus, a privately held division of DoubleClick.

The deal gives Alliance access to over 1,500 retailers, including Patagonia, Brookstone and Sur La Table.

In a statement, Alliance said Abacus maintains a database of more than 5 billion consumer and 1.2 billion business-to-business transactions. Abacus customers contribute data in exchange for access enabling companies to mount marketing campaigns based on consumer buying habits.

Alliance said the acquisition will boost Epsilon's retail customers while allowing Abacus services to be sold to non-retail clients. As part of the agreement, Abacus' 525 employees, including senior management, will be integrated into Epsilon. Abacus services will also be sold under the Epsilon brand.

DoubleClick acquired Abucus in 1999 for $1 billion in stock.

This buyout is the most recent sell-off of DoubleClick assets to Epsilon. In April, Epsilon completed a $90 million purchase of the online advertising firm's e-mail unit. DoubleClick itself last year was acquired for $1.1 billion by Hellman & Friedman, a San Francisco, Calif.-based private equity firm.

The same year as DoubleClick's acquisition, Epsilon paid $120 million for Bigfoot Interactive.

The acquisition of Abacus enhances the company's marketing efforts and increases its ability to sell across sectors, Mike Parks, Alliance Data's chairman and CEO, said in a statement.