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ConversionPoint to Buy Inuvo in $75M Deal

2 min read

Privately held ConversionPoint Technologies Inc. of Newport Beach, California, has agreed to buy publicly traded Inuvo Inc. of Little Rock in a cash-and-stock deal worth about $75 million.

The companies struck a deal on Friday and announced it Monday morning. Inuvo will operate as a wholly-owned subsidiary of ConversionPoint and is expected to maintain its offices in Little Rock and San Jose, California.

The deal is set to close in the first quarter of next year.

ConversionPoint said it is acquiring Inuvo for its patented, artificial intelligence-driven consumer behavior technology, “which leverages machine learning to mirror the way the human brain instantly associates ideas, emotions, places, people and objects,” the companies said in a news release.

“Amazon controls nearly half of the $450 million in online retail sales in the U.S. thanks to their proprietary data-driven approach to consumer analysis and marketing,” ConversionPoint CEO Robert Tallack said.

“Online retailers and brands have been searching for an end-to-end data driven technology to help provide accurate information they can use to acquire customers. We believe that together our end-to-end, AI powered, eCommerce platform can offer those capabilities to the online retail channel and the direct channel that the market has been actively searching for.”

ConversionPoint’s customers include Canon, Logitech and Nikon. It said its technology has been used on websites including Walmart.com and OfficeDepot.com.

Inuvo Chairman and CEO Richard Howe said that, together, the companies will be able to offer a greater level of e-commerce transparency and sophistication across business segments.

“We see this combination allowing us to pursue a shared vision of providing more powerful solutions for eCommerce,” Howe said in a news release.

News of the sale caused a spike in trading volume for Inuvo shares (NYSE American: INUV). Average volume is about 43,000 shares; today’s volume is more than 15 million. Shares of the company were up more than 250 percent to $1.47.

In August, Inuvo reported a net loss of $800,000, or 3 cents per share, an improvement from a net loss of $1.4 million, or 5 cents per share, in the same quarter last year.

Inuvo moved its headquarters from New York to Conway in 2013, with the help of a $1.75 million grant from the Arkansas Economic Development Commission. After outgrowing its space there, it moved into a 13,000-SF office in the Museum Building in Little Rock.

Inuvo shares corporate DNA with the former Acxiom Corp. of Little Rock. Before leading Inuvo, Howe was chief marketing and mergers and acquisitions officer for Acxiom. Acxiom’s former CEO, Charles Morgan, is on the Inuvo board of directors and is its largest shareholder, with more 2,022,239 shares as of Aug. 13. Several on the firm’s leadership team also worked for Acxiom.

After the deal closes, Robert Tallack, the current CEO of ConversionPoint Technologies, will become the CEO of the combined companies. Howe will become chairman of the combined companies.

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