PFSweb, a global commerce services company, announced that it has completed the sale of LiveArea, its global customer experience and commerce agency business unit, to Merkle, Inc., a leading technology-enabled, data-driven customer experience management (CXM) company within Dentsu Group’s international business, Dentsu International (Tokyo: 4324).
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Merkle acquired LiveArea for total gross consideration of $250 million, estimated to result in net proceeds of approximately $185 million to $200 million, after consideration of estimated taxes and transaction related expenses. PFSweb used a portion of the net proceeds to fully pay down its senior financing facilities.
“Under Jim Butler’s leadership, the LiveArea team has made tremendous progress in returning the business to growth over the past two years,” said Mike Willoughby, CEO of PFSweb. “We are confident they will accelerate momentum as they integrate with the Merkle team and continue supporting their clients with an even more comprehensive set of digital business capabilities. I would like to thank Jim and his team for their contributions to our company and clients.”
Willoughby concluded: “Having successfully completed the sale of LiveArea, we will keep working to maximize PFS’s growth through continued high quality client service and operational efficiency. We are proud of the strong foundation we have built and expect to provide further updates on our second quarter performance and outlook for the business for the remainder of the year, including the important upcoming holiday peak.”
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As announced on August 9, 2021, PFSweb will be accounting for the LiveArea divestiture as a discontinued operation on its upcoming second quarter earnings report, which has been delayed by the work required to close this transaction and prepare the required financial reporting and other related requirements for this divestiture, including the NASDAQ listing requirements. The company is working towards the completion of the accounting process with the objective of filing the Form 10-Q with the Securities and Exchange Commission prior to the NASDAQ due date on October 11, 2021 for submission of the company’s actions and plan to be in compliance with the listing requirements.
Raymond James acted as exclusive financial advisor to PFSweb in the transaction. FisherBroyles, LLP acted as legal counsel to PFSweb in the transaction.
Exploration of Strategic Alternatives
As announced on July 6, 2021, PFSweb has engaged Raymond James to lead the exploration of a full range of strategic alternatives for its remaining business, PFS. This broader exploration process is still underway.
“The completion of this LiveArea transaction represents an important step in our strategic alternatives process,” said Monica Luechtefeld, chair of PFSweb’s board of directors. “We will continue working with our advisors to evaluate a broad range of alternatives to optimize shareholder value.”
The company has not established a timeline for completion of this strategic review process, and it does not intend to comment further regarding the review process unless or until a specific transaction is approved by its board of directors or shareholders, the review process is concluded, or it has otherwise determined that further disclosure is appropriate or required by law.
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