Parent data firm Bounty sold to Barclays Private Equity

LONDON - Mother and baby data marketing company Bounty has been sold to Barclays Private Equity by its Canadian parent, media group Kaboose.

At the same time Kaboose is selling off its North American operations, including an online parenting club, to Disney Online. The two separate agreements mean Kaboose has sold most of its assets.

The UK Bounty Group will be sold for £54m. Kaboose acquired Bounty from private equity firm ECI Partners for £70m back in November 2007.

Jason DeZwirek, chairman and chief executive of Kaboose, said that it had been a difficult year for the company and that it felt "compelled to re-examine our long-term plan" after being approached by several large international media companies and global private equity institutions.

Rob Myers, director of Barclays Private Equity, said that the "unique nature of the Bounty model represents a genuine attractive investment opportunity".

Bounty provides marketing services, data in particular, to brands seeking to target new parents. In exchange for their data, Bounty gives new parents information, support and products through the stages of pregnancy, birth, toddlers and pre-school.

Its partners include UK maternity hospitals and FMCG brands such as Procter & Gamble, Kimberley Clark, Unilever, Johnson & Johnson and Asda.

In February Toys R Us signed a deal with Bounty to distribute its free Mum-to-be and Baby Essentials packs, which are also distributed by Asda and Boots.

Kaboose's North American business, comprising a range of online parenting brands, will be sold to Disney Online for $23.3m. Paul Yanover, executive vice-president and managing director of Disney Online, said: "This acquisition strengthens our position as a top entertainment destination for kids and families, and a trusted online
Inresource for parents."