ICG Group sells Channel Intelligence for $125M

Posted: February 07, 2013

An e-commerce company co-owned by Radnor-based ICG Group Inc. has been purchased by Google Inc. for $125 million in cash.

Channel Intelligence Inc., headquartered near Orlando, Fla., helps companies such as Target, Neiman Marcus, Kimberly-Clark, and Best Buy reach online customers.

Central Intelligence tracks nearly 15 percent of U.S. transactions online and drives $2 billion in sales annually, according to the company's website.

"Our vision for CI started with the desire to simplify the online shopping experience," said Rob Wight, Channel Intelligence founder and chairman.

The company's website said it "has developed a technology to help merchants maximize sales" and "generate qualified consumer visits and profitable product sales."

"For over 10 years, we have focused on making it easy for consumers to find and buy products online and help our clients grow their business," the company said. "We've worked with Google for years, and look forward to the great things we will be able to do together."

Google said, "We want to help consumers save time and money by improving the online shopping experience. We think Channel Intelligence will help create a better shopping experience for users and help merchants increase sales across the web."

More than 850 retailers in 31 countries use Channel Intelligence technology, including where-to-buy, product search engines, shopping engines, and Facebook Inc.'s social network.

ICG, which buys and builds Internet software and services firms, said it will get $60.5 million for its stake in Channel Intelligence, which is jointly owned by Colorado-based Aweida Capital Management L.L.P. The deal is expected to close in the first quarter.

ICG said in a Securities and Exchange Commission filing that it will realize a $43-million gain from the sale.

"We successfully navigated a very complex marketplace, ending a record year that culminated in this very exciting acquisition," ICG president Doug Alexander said in a statement.

"The sale of CI to Google is a testament to the quality of its technology and its strong team," said ICG chief executive Walter Buckley.

ICG shares, which closed at $12.04 on Tuesday, rose 48 cents to $12.52 on Wednesday.

Contact staff writer Linda Loyd at 215-854-2831 or lloyd@phillynews.com.


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