October 13, 2003, 12:00 AM

ValueClick to acquire Commission Junction in deal valued at $58 million

ValueClick will double the size of its affiliate marketing services with its acquisition of Commission Junction. It’s part of a strategy to provide one-stop shopping for digital marketers seeking technology, media and services.

In a move that will double the size of its affiliate marketing division, ValueClick Inc. will acquire affiliate marketing services provider Commission Junction Inc. in a cash and stock deal valued at $58 million. The acquisition, already approved by the boards of both companies in a definitive agreement, is expected to close next month, subject to regulatory approval and other closing conditions.

The announced acquisition follows ValueClick’s acquisition of affiliate services provider BeFree Inc, for $129.3 million in May 2002, under a growth strategy in which ValueClick is positioning itself into a one-source provider of technology, media and services for digital marketers. When the Commission Junction acquisition is finalized, ValueClick’s portfolio will also include web, e-mail and search marketing solutions provider ValueClick Media, online advertising and e-mail provider Mediaplex, and advertising services provider AdWare, besides Be Free.

“Commission Junction is a profitable and growing company that will provide synergies in products, services and expertise to enable ValueClick to take even greater advantage of the expected growth of online commerce,” says James Zarley, ValueClick CEO. ValueClick intends to combine BeFree with Commission Junction, whose affiliate services clients include eBay and Marks and Spencer. A ValueClick spokesman says the question of Commission Junction’s brand identity following completion of the acquisition would be addressed in the future.

In related news, Commission Junction announced it has added search to its portfolio of online marketing solutions. The new service, CJ Search, includes paid search, paid search inclusion and organic search. It lets advertisers manage all search efforts through one service and is designed to complement Commission Junction’s other pay-for-performance solutions in e-mail and affiliate marketing, according to the company.

“With CJ search, advertisers have a one-stop shop for managing their independent search efforts, and they also have the choice of extending the reach of their efforts by working with our publishers,” says Jeff Pullen, commission Junction CEO. Through its affiliate and e-mail marketing services, Commission Junction currently serves billions of impressions monthly, according to the company.

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