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Adobe acquires Paris based Neolane for $600 million in cash

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The latest buzz humming the digital media market, is the announcement made on Thursday by Adobe Systems incorporated (ADBE.O) to acquire ‘CRM Watchlist 2013’ winner, Neolane (privately held digital marketing service provider) by for $600 million.

Neolane, a French company whose clients include Barnes & Noble and Bridgestone, specializes in providing a platform that helps marketers manage their marketing across various channels such as Web, social networks, mobile and point of sale. Adobe plans to fold it into its marketing cloud division, which already offers services like analysis, social advertising, targeting, and web experience management solutions.

Adobe, better known for its photo editing software such as Photoshop, has struck a number of deals for marketing-related companies, including Omniture in 2009, Day software in 2010, Demdex and Auditude in 2011 and Efficient Frontier in 2012. Neolane will be its sixth established marketing service provider. Adobe is gradually making its move in digital media market and trying to capture a substantial percentage of the market share.

Seeing Adobe’s aggressive acquisitions over the past years, other companies are also making a big move to associate with the fast-growing areas of online marketing. It has been established that earlier this month, Salesforce.com agreed to buy ExactTarget for $2.5 billion, paying 53 % premium for the digital marketing firm.

John Mellor, Vice President of Strategy and Business Development for Adobe’s digital marketing business said in an interview, “I don’t want to walk into a CMO’s office and just talk about digital marketing. They don’t think of it that way. People want to coordinate all this stuff together.”

Brad Rencher, Adobe’s Senior Vice President and General Manager of Digital Marketing further explained in a blog post about the acquisition: “This is a critical addition to our complete set of analytics, targeting, social, content management and media optimization solutions. Neolane will integrate with our solutions to empower cross-channel and highly personalized campaign management across the web, email, social, mobile, point of sale, direct mail, call center and other emerging channels. The combination of Adobe and Neolane will give customers richer customer profiles, greater activation of social and mobile data, better definition of highly valuable customer segments, and more sophisticated automation and execution platforms. Many customers already rely on both, Adobe and Neolane, and will benefit from further integration between the Adobe Marketing Cloud and Neolane’s cross-channel capabilities.”

The deal is expected to close in July. Adobe’s shares rose by a fraction before the deal was announced, to $45.93, down a bit from a recent high of $47.01 reached in May. Furthermore, Adobe said it doesn’t expect the addition to materially affect its revenue forecast this year. Neolane’s CEO, Stephane Dehoche, will continue to lead the former Neolane team as a part of Adobe’s digital marketing business.

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