DE Shaw in $345m marketing exit

The hedge fund's private equity group has sold Aspen Marketing Services to Dallas-headquartered Alliance Data Systems.

DE Shaw’s private equity group has agreed to sell Aspen Marketing Services to Dallas-headquartered Alliance Data Systems for more than $345 million.

Aspen specialises in digital and direct marketing services and analytics, with a particular expertise in the automotive, telecommunications, retail and financial services industries. DE Shaw Group’s US private equity team acquired a majority stake in the company in 2006 for $229 million. The sale is expected to close by the end of the second quarter.

Founded in 1986, Aspen is the largest privately held marketing services agency in the US, with 10 offices throughout North America, according to a statement. The company is projected to generate $250 million in revenues and $40 million in EBITDA in 2011.

DE Shaw typically makes private equity investments from its multi-strategy platform, investing from an evergreen fund. The private equity team was formed in 2005 and is co-headed by managing directors Bryan Martin and Rich Aube.

DE Shaw’s private equity group invests growth capital and conducts buyouts of US companies across a variety of sectors including traditional and alternative energy, insurance and marketing and consumer services.