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Acxiom Buys 'Onboarding' Firm LiveRamp

May 15 2014

Enterprise data and analytics company Acxiom has agreed to acquire privately held customer data 'onboarding' specialist LiveRamp for around $310m in cash. It has also announced flat fiscal year 2014 revenue, at c.$1.1bn, and forecasts a 5% drop in fiscal 2015 as it exits its analog paper survey business in Europe.

Acxiom Buys 'Onboarding' Firm LiveRampSan Francisco-based LiveRamp is in the business of unlocking data from CRM systems and other applications, integrating these off-line sources with online data.

The deal will enhance Acxiom's ability to get off-line data integrated with digital, through better matching, more connectivity and faster onboarding, linking information from all parts of the 'marketing ecosystem'. More specifically, Acxiom gains more than 200 customers including global brands in retail, communications, entertainment and financial services; a partner network including almost 100 marketing technology firms; and a team of around 70 highly skilled employees based in San Francisco, California.

Acxiom says the combined company's data and capabilities will bring more than 99 percent of the adult US population within reach of marketers' ad targeting, and says the next twelve months will see this capability expanded globally, in particular to in Europe and Asia Pacific.

LiveRamp will maintain its office in San Francisco, with a team led by Auren Hoffman.

Acxiom CEO Scott Howe says the deal is 'a win for the entire marketing industry', creating 'the industry's most comprehensive network of connections'. He continues: 'Together, we will accelerate our vision of a connected ecosystem that delivers true one-to-one marketing at scale. The combination should help virtually everyone in the industry achieve better connections, better insights and better results.'

LiveRamp CEO Auren Hoffman says the deal will give his firm access to Acxiom's 'extensive resources, talent and technology', to help reach its goal of 'making every marketing application more valuable through the power of connected data.'

The deal is subject to customary closing conditions and is expected to close in mid-summer.

Acxiom's total revenue for the fourth quarter was $277m, flat compared to the previous Q4, with operating loss of $15m down from $20m the previous year. Excluding non-cash impairment charges and other unusual items, the firm said operating income was $32m, up 43% from $22m for Q4 2013.

Web sites: www.acxiom.com and www.liveramp.com .

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