Petsky Prunier’s Chadda Discusses ClearSaleing Acquisition

Petsky PrunierPetsky Prunier provided investment banking services in today’s announced acquisition of ClearSaleing by GSI Commerce.

Sanjay Chadda, Partner & Managing Director at Petsky Prunier discussed the transaction. How long was the deal in the making? What’s your view on M&A momentum currently?

SC: As a high profile company and given its #1 ranking in several research reports, the Company was approached by a number of interested parties including potential acquirers and investors.  We started working with the Company in the middle of the summer.  We took over those initial conversations and began a strategic outreach to other likely partners.

The market right now is excellent.  Our firm’s research group reported mergers and acquisitions and investment volume in the Marketing, Information and Digital Media/Commerce industries grew 49 percent in 2010 while aggregate transaction value increased 87 percent, compared to 2009.  We have already closed several transactions this year and expect a record 2011.  We continue to see strategic buyers looking to grow their service offerings and secure client relationships and financial investors are increasingly looking to put money to work.

Do you expect more deals around attribution? Why or why not?

ClearSaleing was the top ranked independent company, but I think that based on what we heard various parties tell us during our process, there will be other deals, perhaps later this year and into 2012.  Marketers are appreciating more and more that search should not get credit for every transaction just because that was where the last click came from.  Display, email, mobile, social channels, all play a role in introducing and influencing consumers.  Brand marketers get a better window into the value of their brands through proper advertising attribution, so as this happens you will see more strategic entities view attribution as a critical technology offering to their customers.

Why is ClearSaleing a good fit for GSI Commerce in your opinion?

ClearSaleing is the leader in helping marketers manage and optimize their overall media spend, especially in online channels. Advertisers can measure how well their media works across consumers’ entire purchase path. As GSI continues to build out its marketing services group, ClearSaleing is a powerful tool for its clients. Many of ClearSaleing’s clients are in the retail or ecommerce sector. This client focus coincides with GSI’s own client base, and therefore opens up a number of cross selling opportunities. I see ClearSaleing as a great technology foundation and analytics platform that will be very helpful for GSI’s multi-channel approach.

What services does Petsky-Prunier typically provide in a deal like GSI-ClearSaleing?

Petsky Prunier is one of the leading investment banks serving the marketing, information and digital media/commerce industries.  Companies within our focus include digital advertising, digital media, eCommerce, marketing technology, software, information, marketing services and agencies and consulting firms.

We served as exclusive financial advisor to ClearSaleing, which is a 4 year old venture-backed company.  We worked with the Company to put together comprehensive marketing materials, contacted strategic parties about the opportunity, put together detailed financial models and analysis to help potential buyers understand the opportunity and the fit with their strategic goals, negotiated term sheets with several potential parties and ultimately managed the due diligence and negotiations through closing the successful transaction with GSI.  We wear many hats for our clients and their boards and shareholders, including ensuring that not just the terms of the deal are appealing but also that they end up with the right partners for their growing businesses.

By John Ebbert

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1 Comment

  1. Chris Brinkworth - TagMan

    It’s an interesting time. I like that it’s a GSI purchase rather than a publisher or data biz. The challenge with attribution and everyone putting it on their ‘feature’s list (which is what we will see in 2011) – is you need to have an agnostic solution, controlled by the advertiser – to really make it count. EG: A display business, with focus on making $ from display revenue, would not suggest cutting money and pushing towards email/PPC. Agencies, are similar. EG – it would take a brave agency to say “here client, this is what we ‘said’ was working; but we were wrong”.