InfoGroup Merging Direct Media With Millard

List conglomerate InfoGroup said today it will merge list firms Direct Media and Millard Group into a single entity called Direct Media Millard on July 1.

Direct Media CEO Larry May will be president and Millard Group president Jeff Kelley will be president of consumer management for Direct Media Millard. About 35% of Greenwich, CT-based Direct Media’s business is with business-to-business lists, while Peterborough, NH-based Millard Group focuses on business-to-consumer names.

Ed Mallin, president of InfoGroup’s services group, says both firms had such an overlap in customer bases that combining them into one made sense. The alternative media businesses of Millard Group and Direct Media were merged “about six months ago,” he adds.

Although the two companies have been reducing staffs during the past year, Mallen says there are no planned layoffs at Direct Media Millard, and that both offices would remain open.

InfoGroup is considering the merger to be a growth opportunity. “We’re investing in technology and people, and when the market turns around and we begin to see the light, we want to be ready,” Mallen says.

Omaha-based InfoGroup, then InfoUSA, acquired Millard Group in December 2005 for $14.2 million, and Direct Media for $17.7 million in January 2008.

InfoUSA in July 2007 merged Millard Group with Mokrynski Direct, a business-to-consumer list firm it acquired in May 2006 for $6.6 million, and renamed it Millard-Mokrynski Group. With little fanfare, that firm’s name was reverted to Millard Group by Christmas of that year.

InfoGroup’s net sales for 2008 were $738.3 million, up 7% from 2007. But its net income was just $4.8 million, down 88% from $40.9 million in 2007.

For the first three months of 2009, InfoGroup’s sales were $127.5 million, down 17% from $153.3 million the same quarter in 2008. Its first quarter net loss is $9.3 million, vs. a net income of $6.6 million the same quarter last year.

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