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DirectStuff.com Re-Acquires MyCoupons.com, DirectCoupons

Online direct marketer DirectStuff.com said Wednesday that it plans to acquire consumer coupon site MyCoupons and e-mail newsletter DirectCoupons from online coupon site Save.com.

The move seems to represent a change of heart. DirectStuff originally sold the properties in May to Save.com for about $23 million. Save.com specializes in the online distribution of consumer packaged goods coupons. Save.com's chief executive Bruce Ettinger said that the time of the purchase that MyCoupons would "anchor the Save.com network."

MyCoupons.com is something of a hot property in the online couponing space, with more than 20 million views monthly, according to Nielsen//NetRatings. Weekly e-mail publication DirectCoupons has about 600,000 current subscribers.

DirectStuff.com said that acquiring both the properties MyCoupons and DirectCoupons will enable it to boost its marketing arsenal.

"We have worked hard to build MyCoupons and DirectCoupons into top branded and used Web sites and newsletters over the past four years," said DirectStuff.com president and chief executive officer Jason Wolfe.

""We're looking to round out our marketing group, and ... it just seemed as though more and more people knew MyCoupons," he said. "Because of the penetration of MyCoupons and the significant value we thought it might have ... and because of the way the market is, it's a perfect time to get that back."

While suggesting that present market conditions had something to do with the sale, Wolfe declined to comment on specifics of the deal, on the two companies' relationship, and whether the deal represented an about-face by one of the companies.

"It's a good relationship," he said. "They're moving forward with their business model, and we're moving forward with ours. We just decided we wanted this product back. With the way the market is, it's a good time for us to do it."

The news comes following management changes at Save.com. Earlier this week, Ettinger resigned as CEO. Save.com's publicly traded parent, Valassis Communications, appointed Suzie Brown as his successor. Brown formerly served as Valassis' vice president of Internet and e-commerce services.

One reason to sell off the properties might stem from a simple need for cash; while turning a tidy profit, Valassis has only about $7.21 million in the bank.

Save.com and Valassis did not return calls by press time seeking comment.

Pittsburgh-based DirectStuff.com is owned in part by Internet Advertising Report's parent, internet.com, and is funded by the internet.com Venture Fund.