Strategic Buyer: Google Buys Channel Intelligence

Channel Intelligence provides marketing services to Target, Neiman Marcus, Best Buy and other retailers

Google Inc. (Nasdaq: GOOG) will acquire Channel Intelligence Inc. from ICG Group Inc. (Nasdaq: ICGE) and Aweida Capital Management for $125 million.

Celebration, Fla.-based Channel Intelligence provides marketing services, including information about Facebook platforms, product search engines and shopping engines. Target Corp. (NYSE: TGT), Philips, Hewlett-Packard (NYSE: HPQ), Neiman Marcus, Best Buy Co. Inc. (NYSE: BBY) and Kimberly Clark Corp. (NYSE: KMB) are among the company’s customers.

The deal gives Google another tool to expand its e-commerce business to compete with Amazon.com Inc. (Nasdaq: AMZN), Facebook Inc. (Nasdaq: FB) and eBay Inc. (Nasdaq: EBAY). In 2011 Mergers & Acquisitions' Strategic Buyer of the Year winner, eBay, focused on building up its e-commerce services through acquisitions. Google, in that same year, spent about $14 billion to expand its e-commerce offerings. 

The move comes about two months after Google appointed Don Harrison as head of mergers and acquisitions, replacing David Lawee, who is focusing on other business at the company. Harrison, the deputy general counsel at Mountain View, Calif.-based Google, leads the legal team advising on acquisitions and investments.

ICG, headquartered in Radnor, Pa., is a holding company that partners with technology companies, including those that specialize in software-as-a-service offerings.  


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