Engage Sells Online Ad Business

NEW YORK — Engage said Wednesday that it has sold its online ad management business to Accipiter Solutions, a Raleigh, N.C., company founded by four former employees of the Engage division.

As of part of the deal, Accipiter Solutions gains Engage’s online ad serving and management technology and the division’s 20 staffers and customer base, which includes Microsoft, Travelocity and E! Networks, among others. Accipiter Solutions also issued Engage a warrant to purchase up to 10 percent of its shares. Other financial terms were not disclosed.

The sale is meant to free Engage to focus on its core advertising, marketing and promotion software business, said John Barone, president and COO of Engage. The digital asset management and workflow automation software lets customers create, produce and deliver online marketing programs.

Accipiter Solutions was formed by Brian Handly, 37, formerly vp of technology services at the Engage division; Jeff Wood, 38, previously east coast sales manager; Robert Cox, 38, former director of client services; and Guy Taylor, 34, previously senior development manager. Handly becomes CEO at Accipiter Solutions; Wood, vp of sales; Cox, vp of professional services; and Taylor, vp of research and development.

The founders and employees of Accipiter were once part of the original Accipiter, Inc., which was formed in 1996 and purchased by Engage’s former parent CMGI and folded into Engage in 1998.