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Merkle Set to Acquire Commerce Services Firm LiveArea

Deal will position the two companies for the road ahead, according to Merkle executives

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In a deal that would unite two companies with significant customer experience management (CXM) and commerce services capabilities, Maryland-based Merkle Inc. has entered into an agreement to acquire Texas firm LiveArea.

The transaction, announced by both companies in simultaneous news releases in early July, is valued at approximately $250 million.

Merkle is known in the industry as a data-driven CXM company that provides tailored business strategies and a customer-focused approach employing individualized targeting and personalized messaging. With a 12,000-strong global workforce and 2019 net revenue of $1.1 billion, Merkle clients include Fortune 1000 firms and non-profit organizations alike. Merkle is part of Dentsu International, the division of Tokyo-based Dentsu Group that oversees the conglomerate’s operations outside of Japan.

For its part, LiveArea has expertise in delivering creative commerce experiences and transforming the customer journey. Operating in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa (EMEA) and possessing significant global offshore delivery capabilities in India and Bulgaria, LiveArea services span commerce, experience design, technology, and strategy, while also offering managed services to its client base. For the trailing 12 months ending on March 31 this year, LiveArea generated about $85 million in revenue, supplying business-to-business (B2B), business-to-consumer (B2C), and direct-to-consumer (D2C) solutions to the health and beauty, fashion and apparel, luxury, consumer packaged goods, retail stores, healthcare, and automotive sectors. LiveArea is a division of PFSweb, Inc., a platform-agnostic global commerce services company.

The acquisition will enable LiveArea to strengthen Merkle’s global CX and commerce know-how, while allowing LiveArea to realize its growth potential more fully.

Michael Komasinski, president of Merkle Americas, said the addition of LiveArea will further enhance the ability of Merkle to deliver competitively CXM services and solutions efficiently and at scale. “LiveArea represents a unique opportunity for Merkle to significantly expand our commerce capabilities—broadening our commerce footprint in the US market while also adding commerce expertise in EMEA,” he remarked.

Jim Butler, president of LiveArea, said merging with Merkle will provide the 590 employees of LiveArea with additional support and accelerated development opportunities. “We look forward to working with the Merkle team to make LiveArea an even stronger company to create agile business-driving solutions with our clients,” Butler added. The deal is expected to close in the third quarter of this year.

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