CognitiveData Bought by Merkle

Merkle Inc., one of the nation's largest and fastest-growing database marketing agencies, announced Monday that it has bought CognitiveData Inc. of Little Rock, a marketing technology company.

As part of the deal, CognitiveData will remain a separate brand and will operate as a wholly owned subsidiary of Merkle, continuing to go-to-market through both end-user clients and marketing service providers.

Both companies are privately held and financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Merkle is a top-25 ranked national marketing services agency based on revenue, according to an April 2009 report in Advertising Age magazine.

CognitiveData, which ended 2008 with $19 million in revenue, has been recognized in the Deloitte Technology Fast 500 and its growth earned it a mention in the Inc. 500 rankings in both 2007 and 2008. Merkle reported revenue of $211 million last year.

The acquisition brings about 50 employees from locations in Little Rock, New York and Chicago under Merkle and effectively expands the company's national footprint.

Merkle, headquartered near Baltimore, in Columbia, Md., employs about 1,000 in its Boston, Chicago, Denver, Little Rock, Philadelphia, Seattle and Hagerstown, Md., locations.

"We are very enthusiastic about Merkle's acquisition of CognitiveData," said Rod Ford, president and CEO. "The purchase allows CognitiveData to create greater value for our existing and future clients by providing access to a larger pool of resources, yet will allow us to continue to operate as a separate brand and company. This is extremely positive news for both the company and our clients. Merkle is a perfect fit for CognitiveData and we are very excited about the future of our company and the product innovations we have in development."

David Williams, Merkle's president and CEO, said, "Merkle and CognitiveData are a great fit from a technology and a services standpoint, and we have already built a solid foundation in our previous work together as partners. We see CognitiveData as a top-tier technology leader in data quality with a known brand and strong reputation."

Merkle and CognitiveData first began working together on business-to-consumer initiatives for major national corporations including DirecTV, Geico and the Arthritis Foundation in 2007. The partnership work led to further joint efforts throughout 2008 and eventually resulted in Merkle's acquisition of CognitiveData.