|Revenue ($ in millions)||2008||2007||% chg|
Asterisk (*) indicates figures are Ad Age estimates.
Alliance Data Systems provides database, direct-marketing and payment-transaction services. It offers customer loyalty programs, database marketing services, marketing strategy consulting, analytics and creative services, e-mail marketing and private-label retail credit card programs. Epsilon is Alliance Data's marketing-services unit
Alliance Data was formed from the 1996 merger of two entities acquired by private-equity firm Welsh, Carson, Anderson & Stowe: J.C. Penney Co.'s transaction services business (BSI Business Services) and Limited Brands' credit-card bank (World Financial Network National Bank). Alliance Data went public in June 2001.
In May 2007, Alliance Data agreed to be bought by private-equity firm Blackstone Group for $7.8 billion, including assumption of debt. In the wake of the credit crunch and upheaval in financial markets, Alliance Data Systems Corp. and Blackstone April 18, 2008, terminated the deal after battling over Blackstone's obligations in the deal.
Alliance Data reported 2008 worldwide revenue of $2.025 billion and ended the year with 7,400 employees.
Alliance Data's ranking among agency companies is based on revenue of Epsilon, its marketing-services unit; employee and office figures shown also are for Epsilon.
Epsilon has three divisions: Purple@Epsilon, its direct-marketing and digital agency; Marketing Technology; and Epsilon Data.
Alliance Data bought Epsilon for $314.5 million in October 2004, and it's expanded Epsilon through acquisitions. Epsilon services include Abacus, a provider of data, data management and analytical services for retailers and catalogs acquired from DoubleClick in February 2007 for $439.3 million.
Epsilon launched Purple@Epsilon in March 2008 as a rebranding of Epsilon's direct-marketing and digital agency services. Purple@Epsilon offers creative design, direct-mail production, e-mail marketing, web development and search-engine optimization. Purple@Epsilon bundles Epsilon's direct-marketing agency services along with services acquired through acquisitions (including Bigfoot Interactive in 2005, digital creative specialist Big Designs in 2006 and DoubleClick Email Solutions in 2006).
Ed Heffernan, pres & CEO-Alliance Data; Bryan Kennedy, pres & CEO-Epsilon
Alliance Data Systems (Epsilon)/17655 Waterview Pkwy., Dallas, Texas 75252/Phone: (972) 348-5100/Fax: (972) 348-5100