Hallmark to Acquire Gift Certificate Company

Hallmark Cards Inc. will acquire privately-held Gift Certificate Center Co. (GCC), one of the top gift certificate
providers in the United States.


The sale will be finalized May 31, pending shareholder approval; financial
terms were not disclosed.


Founded in 1990 by a group of private investors, GCC was one of the first
businesses to provide gift certificates as incentives to corporate clients
and individuals. In 1999, the company launched two e-commerce sites: premierechoiceaward.com, which
targets the
business-to-business sales incentive and recognition business, and
giftcert.com, which sells gift
certificates directly to consumers.


GCC partners with more than 400 merchants and has more than 5,000 corporate
clients throughout the U.S. and Canada. In 1999, the company reported gross
revenues of $31 million.


“Acquiring leading companies like GCC is part of an overall growth strategy
for Hallmark.com,” said John Sullivan, senior vice president, Hallmark
Internet Commerce. “It allows us to quickly build our portfolio of services ”


In addition to distributing via Hallmark.com, GCC will continue to develop
and distribute its products with existing customers. The acquisition also
opens the door for GCC distribution options in Hallmark Gold Crown stores and
other Hallmark consumer and business-to-business channels.


GCC will operate as a wholly owned subsidiary and operating unit of the
Hallmark Internet Commerce group within Hallmark’s North American Business.
In 1999, Hallmark reported consolidated net revenues of $4.2 billion.

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