Harte Hanks (NYSE: HHS), a marketing services company headquartered in San Antonio, Texas, said it is seeking to sell its Trillium Software business and has hired Foros, a New York-based boutique M&A advisory firm founded in 2009 by former Deutsche Bank M&A chief Jean Manas, to act as the company’s financial advisor.

“A sale will allow us to focus on moving Harte Hanks towards growth and historically strong cash flows,” said Harte Hanks president and CEO, Karen Puckett.

Harte Hanks shares are trading at about $1.15, rising 35% since June 7 when it hit a 52-week low of $0.85, losing 87% of its value within a year, which may have accelerated the Trillium divestment move. The stock traded at $6.57 a year ago. The company currently has a total market value of roughly $70 million, and an enterprise value of $136.6 million.

On May 16, Wells Fargo Bank agreed to amend a credit agreement with Harte Hanks, waiving an event of default. As of the end of the first quarter, the company reported total debt of $265 million.

Revenues from the company’s Trillium Software segment are comprised primarily of perpetual software licenses, annual maintenance, and professional services, and represented approximately 10% of Harte Hanks $110.7 million total revenues for the three months ended March 31, 2016, which decreased $10.5 million, or 8.6%, compared to the first quarter of 2015, the company reported.

“As we assess the prioritization of investments in support of optimizing our clients’ customer journey across an omni-channel delivery platform, we’ve made the determination that the Trillium Software business is likely to be a better strategic fit and more valuable asset to other parties,” Puckett added. “These steps, along with our acquisitions of a digital search management company and marketing consulting firm, will allow us to focus and take advantage of the growth opportunity with our Customer Interaction business.”

Trillium Software is a leading, global enterprise data quality solutions provider. It enables business and IT leaders to anticipate opportunities, uncover hidden risks and make better decisions by rapidly providing them with complete, accurate and trusted data in everything they do. Trillium is based in Burlington, Mass.

Trillium’s full complement of technologies and services includes global data profiling, data cleansing, enrichment, and data linking for e-business, big data, customer relationship management, data governance, enterprise resource planning, supply chain management, data warehouse, and other enterprise applications.

In December 2015, Forrester Research listed Trillium Software as a leader in its Forrester Wave: Data Quality Solutions, Q4 2015 report, which notes that Trillium “has emerged with data quality capabilities that support and scale on a modern data platform (cloud and big data)” and is “demonstrating early success in big data and cloud.”

“We feel the recognition is yet another validation of our ability to rapidly deliver best-in-class data quality solutions to help solve the complex business and technical challenges organizations face,” said Trillium Software’s CEO Phil Galati.

“Our solutions are designed to provide complete enterprise data quality capabilities that can scale to manage high volume datasets, rapidly deploy in increasingly complex environments, and ensure business and IT users can efficiently collaborate on data quality monitoring and management. We are committed to helping our clients make more accurate short- and long-term business decisions by providing them with complete, trusted data,” said Keith Kohl, Trillium’s vice president of product management.

Trillium Software’s data quality solutions offer a variety of integration and deployment options, intuitive self-service capabilities, and scalable architecture all designed to efficiently manage growing volumes and varieties of business information. Trillium improves enterprise data quality in as little as 30 days, so that business and IT teams have rapid access to accurate information that can inform better business decisions.

Harte Hanks is a global marketing services firm specializing in multi-channel marketing solutions. Experts in defining, executing and optimizing the customer journey, Harte Hanks offers end-to-end marketing services including consulting, strategic assessment, data, analytics, digital, social, mobile, print, direct mail and contact center. From visionary thinking to tactical execution, Harte Hanks delivers smarter customer interactions for some of the world’s leading brands, it says. Harte Hanks 5,000+ employees are located in North America, Asia-Pacific, Europe and Latin America.

Harte Hanks was founded in 1923 and is headquartered in San Antonio, Texas. The company’s predecessor, Harte-Hanks Newspapers (and subsequently Harte-Hanks Communications), was founded by Houston Harte and Bernard Hanks. During its first 50 years it operated as a publisher of newspapers in Texas. In 1972 it made its first IPO, later diversifying into television and radio properties.

By 1980, the company owned 29 daily and 68 weekly newspapers, but its fastest growing division was consumer direct marketing, which included marketing agencies, market research firms and direct-mail distributors — the future core of today’s Harte Hanks. In 1984, the company’s management took the company private, later going public again in 1993. In the mid-1990s, the company divested its newspaper and broadcasting operations and focused on direct marketing and shopper publications, including The PennySaver, which it also divested by 2013.



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