In a press release which appeared yesterday, ICG Company, the owner of Channel Intelligence, has agreed to sell its business to Google for a cool $125 million. The deal is expected to be completed sometime in the first quarter of 2013, providing the final closing conditions are agreed by both parties.
Channel Intelligence’s business model focuses on e-commerce sales optimizations, specializing in product search engines, advertising traffic, and shopping engines. It already has ties to Google shopping, it was a featured partner when the service first launched, which is no-doubt one of the reasons for Google’s acquisition of the company.
More specifically, Google is most likely interested in Channel Intelligence’s product feed optimization technologies, which could be used to improve the quality of Google’s product results and advertising placements.
It will be interesting to see exactly what Google plans to do with this latest purchase, hopefully more information will appear once the deal is finalized in the coming weeks.
ICG is expected to realize approximately $60.5 million in connection with the transaction. A portion of ICG’s proceeds will be held in escrow and will be subject to potential identification claims. ICG does not expect to owe any income taxes in connection with the transaction.
“Building upon the perseverance and strong foundation laid by CI’s founder Rob Wight, I am extremely proud of the work we accomplished at CI,” said Doug Alexander, CEO of CI and President of ICG. “With the talent and hard work of the entire CI team, we successfully navigated a very complex marketplace, ending a record year that culminated in this very exciting acquisition.”
“The sale of CI to Google is a testament to the quality of its technology and its strong team led by ICG President, Doug Alexander, who positioned the company to succeed in the rapidly growing e-marketing industry,” said Walter Buckley, CEO of ICG. “As drivers and architects of CI’s growth and success, we are very pleased with this outcome.”
“I am thrilled to see the recognition of value for what this company has accomplished,” said Rob Wight, Founder and Chairman of CI. “Our vision for CI started with the desire to simplify the online shopping experience. Under the leadership of Doug and ICG, CI greatly enhanced its value proposition to its customers and partners. I am very proud to see our vision executed to this great outcome.”
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Google wants to compete with Amazon not being a retailer, but providing a platform to retailers to compete with Amazon (which is the only retailer right now that can compete in volume with very low margins), from marketing to delivery (BufferBox). Google just can’t afford letting Amazon become the default place for buyers to search for products.