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Carat Interactive Acquires Lot 21

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NEW YORK -- Consolidation continued in the interactive sector last week as Carat Interactive bought Lot21 and Vizium for $2 million and $700,000 in cash, respectively.

The deal combines Carat Interactive's media muscle with Lot21's creative and emerging-technology know-how and Vizium's customer-relationship-management skills. "The work they've done is a step ahead and very proactive," said Sarah Fay, Carat Interactive's president, of Lot21's work in mobile marketing and Vizium's e-mail marketing capabilities. Boston-based Carat Interactive gains a West Coast presence with Lot21, which is headquartered in San Francisco.

In addition to the cash deal, the acquired companies have the opportunity to earn $15-20 million during the next few years if they meet performance-based goals.

Carat Interactive claims $50 million in U.S. billings from clients that include Pfizer, Adidas and Radio Shack. Lot21, a 4-year-old i-shop, contributes $40 million from clients such as Bank of America and Adobe. Vizium, a Framingham, Mass.-based Internet-marketing firm with 20 employees, has AT&T Broadband and Dun & Bradstreet on its roster.

The newly combined agency, which retains the name Carat Interactive, claims 100 staffers, about $90 million in U.S. billings and $25 million in revenue. Kate Everett-Thorp, CEO of Lot21, becomes chairman and chief marketing officer; Eric Wheeler, president and COO of Lot21, will act as COO; and Alan Osetek, president of Vizium, will serve as svp of eCRM.