EPS: Outsell's Newest Addition

By Britt, Phillip | Information Today, October 2006 | Go to article overview

EPS: Outsell's Newest Addition


Britt, Phillip, Information Today


Now that the buzz over Outsell, Inc.'s acquisition of Electronic Publishing Services, Ltd. (EPS) of London is beginning to quell, the information industry can't help but view the deal as a win-win situation.

Officials on both sides of the transaction and customers of both companies view the acquisition favorably. The Burlingame, Calif.-based Outsell will now offer a combined new enterprise that is only going to get stronger.

"The acquisition of EPS joins two highly respected organizations with complementary expertise, and strengthens our global presence, so that we can broaden our clients and services in the U.K., Europe, India, and China, among other areas," said Greg Chagaris, Outsell's co-founder and chief sales officer, when the deal was announced. The companies, both of which are private, would not discuss the financial terms of the deal.

The separate companies were similar, though they each had their own industry and geographic strengths. The combined company will continue to offer the services that each had previously provided separately: recommendations about the industry's competitive and market movements and key trends.

For years, the companies have published annual in-depth reports on market size, share, forecasts, and trends on each industry segment; advised investors; and tracked the financial performance of the industry's top 100 public companies.

Both firms are well-entrenched in the scientific, technical, and medical (STM) information industry sector, according to Anthea Stratigos, Outsell's co-founder and CEO. While both firms had worked in the U.S. and overseas, Outsell, which was founded in 1994, had a stronger presence in the U.S. EPS had more of an edge in Europe.

EPS was also strong in legal information, education, and training, while Outsell had established expertise in the B2B trade, market and information technology research, and search and aggregation segments, according to Stratigos.

Good Timing

"The acquisition was well-timed for both organizations," she said. "The only way that either one of us was going to be able to continue to grow was to continue to go into each other's turf, so we decided to join forces. It was one of those situations where two plus two equals five. We're the only analyst firm that focuses on the information industry. Now we can broaden our offerings and services."

For David Worlock, EPS founder and chairman, the benefits for EPS were just as tangible. "EPS has built its business in Europe, and [more recently] in the U.S., by analyzing the evolution of the information marketplace and advising participants and investors on current status and future prospects," Worlock said. "We have immense respect for the contribution of Outsell in parallel to this and, in particular, their unique contributions to the study of user behavior in these emerging new marketplaces. Putting the two elements together, along with all of the other analysis and commentary provided by the two firms, creates a full-service value for clients of both firms that has not before been available."

Worlock, who owned 51 percent of EPS's parent company, EPS Holdings, Inc., will be the Chief Research Fellow for the combined company.

The Value of Teamwork

The two organizations have already begun working together as a single entity, according to Stratigos. "We're continuing to forge ahead with our sales and market areas. We're in the early stages of the integration activity. We already had analysts working across the country, so in many ways, adding London for us is like adding another time zone."

Worlock added that EPS, which has been in business for 21 years and initially entered the U.S. market 4 years ago, wanted to expand the breadth and depth of its coverage here and overseas. But the company wasn't large enough to move forward with those plans.

"We had the ambition, but we didn't have the strength to do it," Worlock said. …

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