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12:18 PM

Infogroup To Be Acquired For $460 Million

Private equity firm CCMP would like to buy the company, which specializes in research and custom databases for marketing purposes.

After several months on the auction block, Database provider Infogroup Inc. is close to being acquired by private equity firm CCMP for about $460 million, according to media reports Monday.

The Omaha-based firm, which specializes in research and custom databases for marketing purposes, reported sales of nearly $500 million in its last fiscal year ended in December 31.

Founded by Vinod Gupta, who remains the company's largest stockholder, Infogroup gained a prominent place in the news as a result of Gupta's friendship and fundraising efforts for former President Bill Clinton and for Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

Gupta left day-to-day leadership of the company several months ago after some stockholders complained that Gupta had used company funds for his personal use.

Earlier, the Carlyle Group and Dun & Bradstreet had expressed interest in purchasing the firm, but withdrew from the field, according to media reports. The Wall Street Journal reported Monday that CCMP had agreed to acquire Infogroup for about $460 million. The main parties -- Infogroup and CCMP -- have declined comment.

Gupta, who supports the sale of the firm, owns more than 35% of Infogroup, according to recent regulatory filings. The company has about 3,000 employees scattered about the world. About one-half are located in Omaha.

While the company provides research useful for marketing that it delivers through its sophisticated databases, its data has also been successfully used in political elections, particularly by Democrats.

The Wall Street Journal reported that the CCMP/Infogroup deal is anchored by Richard Zannino, the former chief executive officer of Dow Jones Inc.

In its latest financial report, Infogroup said its fourth quarter revenue was $125.8 million versus $141.9 million in the fourth quarter of 2008. Infogroup's net loss from continuing operations in the quarter was $1.4 million versus net income of $1.3 million in 2008.

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