Datalogix To Be Acquired Soon, Nielsen Seen As Likely Buyer

DLXDatalogix, a provider of online and offline data, is nearing a sale of the business.

According to multiple AdExchanger sources, the company has entertained offers in recent weeks, including from TV ratings mainstay Nielsen and Facebook. However Facebook is no longer in the running, and Nielsen is considered the most likely buyer.

Although neither company has confirmed a deal, sources with knowledge of Datalogix confirm the company has been in play for some time and that, as recently as last week, a number of potential buyers had stepped up to bid on the 12-year-old offline and online data specialist.

According to sources, discussions heated up at the Goldman Sachs Technology Conference in Las Vegas just before the Thanksgiving holiday. Datalogix had reportedly considered an IPO and tapped Goldman Sachs, Deutsche Bank and Barclays to begin that process, according to the Wall Street Journal, but according to a report Tuesday by The Deal reporter Jonathan Marino, Datalogix later began entertaining offers on the company with bids starting as low as $200 million.

Datalogix had raised $45 million in Series C funding this May, which brought the company’s funding total to $111.5 million, according to CrunchBase.

There are a number of reasons why Datalogix is an attractive target. A holy grail for CPG advertisers is tracing digital and TV-based media exposure to the in-store sale. Marketers typically relied on national broadcasts to reach a wide swath of viewers and simply absorbed any waste (e.g. women, if you’re Gillette selling Fusion ProGlides).

But because advertisers are switching to audience-based buying – as opposed to buying based on program and day part – they are demanding richer data sets and audience attributes. Datalogix, founded in 2002 as NextAction and recapped in 2009 under its current name, helps advertisers attribute online ads to offline sales. One way in which it does this is partnering with dozens of retail and loyalty partners for offline purchase measurement, then hashing anonymously that information to online audience behaviors.

Nielsen may be looking to “get into the online/offline data and attribution business in a big way,” as one source noted, adding, “M&A would be the fastest and most certain path for them to get there.”

Nielsen’s global president Steve Hasker has also publicly expressed the company’s interest in investing in additional data sets “as advertisers are simultaneously blending customer segments and first-party data sets with data sets from Nielsen and others via their data-management platforms.”

Nielsen partnered with Datalogix in 2009 when the two jointly launched an ad-targeting platform dubbed the Datalogix Affiniti Data Platform combining Nielsen PRIZM lifestyle and demographic segments with offline behaviors and attributes.

According to one source, Nielsen’s offline data interests make sense, “but I would think they’d buy somebody like Polk,” the source said. “Datalogix doesn’t actually own its own supply chain, but somebody like a Polk has actual data from all the DMVs all over the country and they’d end up licensing that data anyway.”

Another potential caveat? Price. “It may be hard for them to pay the kind of premium that they would need in order to get a company like that,” noted one source.

Both companies declined comment for this story.

Zach Rodgers contributed.

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