Acxiom Buys Colorado Fraud Prevention Company

by Chip Taulbee  on Thursday, Aug. 11, 2005 11:44 am  

Little Rock's Acxiom Corp. said on Wednesday that it was acquiring fraud prevention and identity verification services company InsightAmerica of Broomfield, Colo.

The acquisition will add about 100 employees, who will remain working in Colorado.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but Acxiom spokesman Dale Ingram said the cost was less than Acxiom's $140 million acquisition of Digital Impact of San Mateo, Calif., in March.

For weeks in conference calls to analysts, Acxiom Company Leader Charles Morgan had alluded to the possible purchase of such a company.

Founded in 1994, InsightAmerica has worked for law enforcement, government and commercial investigative agencies; banking and financial institutions; debt recovery groups; employment screening organizations; and others.

In a news release, Morgan said the marketplace for services that improve identity verification and reduce fraud has grown tremendously. He said companies and organizations have realized that their success and reputation often depend on their ability to confirm the identity and background of an individual, quickly analyze information to make risk assessments, and comply with new laws such as the USA Patriot Act.

Acxiom's acquisition comes less than a month after the company announced it would lay off 4 percent of its global work force upon news of poor first-quarter earnings. The firm ended up cutting 150 jobs, including 70 in Arkansas.

Asked about the impression this move would send investors and employees of Acxiom, Ingram said, "It's still very important to invest in our future. We can't hunker down and (not recognize) an opportunity like this. This improves our value proposition to our clients. It's a good deal for our clients and shareholders."

Acxiom will pay for the acquisition with a line of credit through its free cash flow.

Levine Trial Continues

Also Thursday, Acxiom awaited a verdict in the trial of alleged hacker Scott Levine.

Jurors are still deliberating the case. Prosecutors had expected the jury to return a verdict by the end of the day Wednesday.

Closing statements ended Wednesday in U.S. District Court in Little Rock. Levine is accused of orchestrating a massive data theft - 1.6 billion records - from the Little Rock information management services company.



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