MediaBank Acquires ValueClick's Mediaplex

Amid Slowed Online Ad Spending, Firm Will Also Sell Inkjet E-commerce Business

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NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- Online ad firm ValueClick is selling two of what it calls its "non-core" businesses for $18 million, including Mediaplex Systems, which was acquired by Chicago-based MediaBank. ValueClick has struggled as online ad spending slowed this year.

MediaBank makes media-buying and -planning software for agencies and marketers. It will integrate ValueClick's Mediaplex technology and absorb clients such as Doner, which handles media buying for Coca-Cola Co., and Martin Agency, which represents Geico and Wal-Mart.

Terms undisclosed
ValueClick is also selling its inkjet e-commerce business to an undisclosed buyer. The exact terms of either sale were not disclosed. Mediaplex, which has 80 employees, was acquired by ValueClick in 2001 for $48.9 million. Its software allows media planners to buy advertising across different types of media, from TV to billboards to online advertising.

MediaBank competes in the marketplace with Donovan Systems, which makes the industry-standard software used by agencies and advertisers to plan and buy advertising. Chicago-based MediaBank entered the market three years ago and has quickly taken market share. In February it nabbed the business of Starcom MediaVest Group. Donovan, meanwhile, has been working on improving its system to better handle digital advertising.

"Parts of their system will be used to improve our system," said MediaBank founder Brad Keywell. "It will give us an even broader footprint in the industry."

Included in the deal are Mediaplex's AdVault media-planning and -buying software, its e-business software and its ContentDepot digital-asset-management service. The deal does not include ValueClick's Mediaplex ad-serving platform, which competes with DoubleClick's Dart for Advertisers, now owned by Google, and aQuantive's Atlas, acquired last year by Microsoft.*

Proceeds from the two sales will be reflected in ValueClick's fourth-quarter results. Company shares hit a 52-week low last week and are trading under $8 a share today, compared to a peak of $23.30 in February.

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UPDATE: Changes were made to this paragraph to clarify which parts of ValueClick's business were being sold.
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