GSI buys e-mail marketer for $157 million

Posted: January 25, 2008

Web retailer GSI Commerce Inc. said yesterday that it had acquired a Massachusetts firm in a $157 million deal that gives the King of Prussia company a foothold in e-mail-based marketing.

The acquired company, privately held e-Dialog Inc., of Lexington, Mass., had revenue of about $34 million for the 12 months ended Sept. 30. GSI said yesterday that it expected its own 2007 revenue to be in the range of $748 million to $750 million.

"The acquisition will significantly expand the breadth and depth of GSI's interactive-marketing-services capabilities," GSI said in a statement.

Ten-year-old e-Dialog operates permission-based e-mail-marketing campaigns for customers that have included American Eagle Outfitters Inc., Avis Budget Group Inc., BMG Music Service, British Airways P.L.C., CBS Corp., and Dell Inc.

The two companies said e-Dialog would be an independent operating unit of GSI.

The deal includes a cash payment of $147.8 million and restricted shares of GSI Commerce, valued at $9.2 million.

GSI will be obligated to make an additional payment of $750,000 in fiscal 2009 if certain net-revenue targets are achieved in fiscal 2008, the company said.

The restricted shares will go to e-Dialog employees, including its senior management. The acquisition is expected to close within 30 days.

GSI operates e-commerce sites for 85 clients, including retailers and sports teams. The firm said yesterday that it expected 2008 revenue to reach $1 billion, up 33 percent from 2007.

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