Holding Company Plans to Acquire TargitMail

E-mail marketer firm TargitMail likely will be added to the portfolio of Internet and technology holding company iiGroup, as part of a planned acquisition announced Wednesday by the companies.

Through the proposed acquisition, the terms of which were not disclosed, Boca Raton, Fla.-based iiGroup stands to gain one of the largest opt-in e-mail databases in the industry — about 21 million addresses strong.

iiGroup and TargitMail said that database would serve to drive interest, traffic and sales on iiGroup’s portfolio of wholly and partially owned Web sites.

Among iiGroup’s companies are e-commerce site Gourmetmarket.com, Internet yellow page play SBN.com, and wholly owned travel and foreign language site Travlang.com. iiGroup has equity positions in both Gourmetmarket and SBN.

TargitMail chief executive Walt Rines agreed that his firm would generate “substantial operating synergies” from its incorporation into iiGroup’s fold.

“As we continue to develop innovative marketing solutions for our customers, iiGroup will now have the foundation to enhance its portfolio of Internet companies as a whole,” Rines said.

A spokesperson for Portsmouth, New Hampshire-based TargitMail said that TargitMail might offer marketing solutions and new revenue streams to iiGroup’s companies. iiGroup could also serve as a way for TargitMail to expand its e-mail database, through opt-ins on the portfolio sites, the spokesperson said.

Not only does iiGroup aim to boost traffic and sales on its sites through the acquisition, but it might bring in some dough as well. TargitMail said that it is poised to turn a profit sometime next year. According to the company, its 2000 sales totaled about $7 million, and it projects 2001 sales of more than $20 million.

“TargitMail is an exceptional example of a company that is using the Internet to create real value for its customers, for consumers, and for itself,” said iiGroup president J. Eric Kirkland. “The e-mail marketing industry has recently achieved critical mass … we know that TargitMail is well positioned to capitalize on this explosive growth.”

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