Compusearch Micromarketing gets sold again

Less than a year after it was acquired by U.S. credit reporting giant Equifax in a larger deal with then-owner R.L. Polk, Toronto-based market data services specialist Compusearch Micromarketing Data and Systems has been sold again, this time to Troy, N.Y.-based...

Less than a year after it was acquired by U.S. credit reporting giant Equifax in a larger deal with then-owner R.L. Polk, Toronto-based market data services specialist Compusearch Micromarketing Data and Systems has been sold again, this time to Troy, N.Y.-based data technology developer MapInfo.

In the wake of the US$6.3 million sale, Compusearch’s list management sister division, Prospects Unlimited, was immediately shut down.

According to a source at Compusearch – which is now operating under the name MapInfo/ Compusearch Group – the Prospects Unlimited division had been unprofitable, largely owing to the fact that its 7.5-million name Prospects Canada database recently lost its source of names. In addition, the source says, because of the compiled nature of its lists, Prospects Unlimited was not well-positioned to compete in the Canadian list market, given the opt-in provisions of the new federal privacy law, which went into effect Jan. 1 (see story, page D2).

As for Compusearch’s nullified marriage with Equifax, the source says, ‘We did not fit strategically well into Equifax’s core purpose.’

In a vaguely worded company release, in which it cites the need for businesses to ‘continually examine and redefine their strategic initiatives,’ Equifax says its strategy is to focus on its two core businesses: information and payment services.

In its own release, MapInfo’s president Mark Cattini is quoted as saying the acquisition of Compusearch, which was a major data supplier to MapInfo, ‘fits perfectly with our strategic objective to manage the assets needed to deliver demographic segmentation analysis to our customers.’

He said it also ‘brings new expertise to MapInfo’s initiatives for the mobile Internet market.’

MapInfo, one of the few technology firms still doing well on the Nasdaq exchange (symbol: MAPS), describes itself as a global provider of ‘location-based’ market intelligence. The company, which says it has strategic partners and distribution channels in 60 countries, reported record revenue growth of 39% in its fourth quarter, ended Sept. 30. The company’s total revenues in fiscal 2000 were US$96 million.