Carlyle’s Relizon Finds Epsilon –

The Relizon Co., a national marketing concern and a portfolio company of the Carlyle Group, this month completed its acquisition of Epsilon, a marketing communications production company. Total consideration for the transaction was just under $200 million. The cash and equity component was an estimated $50 million and the difference was made up of senior debt financing led by Wachovia Securities and Goldman Sachs. Wachovia also advised Relizon on the deal, and SG Cowen served as an adviser to Epsilon.

“In the face of a slowing economy, Relizon and Epsilon have both been able to sustain and grow a profitable base of highly satisfied customers,” said Rodney Hedeen, Relizon’s president and CEO. “When combined with Epsilon, our fiscal year will close with revenue approaching a billion dollars. The strong financial performance of both firms lays the foundation for sustained profitable growth.”

The bankers at Wachovia Securities echo the same sentiments. “Relizon’s objective is to be the leader in business communications outsourcing and they’ve gone a long way in doing that by acquiring Epsilon,” said Doug Sleeper, a director at Wachovia Securities. “There’s a tremendous amount of low-hanging fruit that they’re already attacking.”

Dayton, Ohio-based Relizon was created in August 2000 when the Reynolds & Reynolds Co. sold its Information Solutions Group to the Carlyle Group. Relizon posted annual revenue of more than $800 million last year.

Epsilon was founded in 1969 and is owned by DMDA, Inc. The company’s services include marketing strategy; database design and management; data mining; web site design and deployment. The company realized annual revenue of approximately $120 million last year. Wachovia Securities began marketing the company’s bank debt on Sept. 11 but had to stop short its road show because of the cataclysmic events, which took a toll on the country’s traveling industry.

However, the bank resumed the process two weeks after the terrorist attacks and were successful in attracting institutional interest for the facility. “This was a tremendous accomplishment from our standpoint because we were able to sell all of the debt in a very tumultuous market as well as bring in a lot of new lenders to the deal,” said Richard DiDonato, a director at Wachovia Securities. “Through all of the trials and tribulations over the last month and to be able to close a deal by Nov. 2 is quite an accomplishment,” he said.