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Direct Group Acquires HintonHill.

Combination Provides Clients of Both Companies Enhanced Services and Capabilities by Bringing Together Industry-Leading Talent, Expertise and Resources

PENNINGTON, N.J. -- Direct Group, a full-service provider of high-volume direct marketing services, announced today that the company has acquired HintonHill, one of the nation's leading full-service direct marketing management and consulting companies. The move brings to Direct Group the knowledge and leadership of well-known industry executives Don Hill and Barry Hinton, the service expertise and data service resources of the HintonHill team, a diverse national client base and a broad network of specialized industry partners.

Founded in 2001 and headquartered in Frederick, Md., HintonHill quickly built a leadership position across a wide array of segments within the direct marketing industry, including nonprofit, telecommunications, travel and leisure/hospitality, education, financial services, insurance, pharmaceutical and consumer products. The company is also a leading provider of mortgage marketing services, and has an operation in Indianapolis solely dedicated to that market segment.

HintonHill's clients include an impressive number of Fortune 500 companies, well-known associations and major nonprofit organizations. The company partners with an extensive network of industry vendors and suppliers to deliver cost-effective, highly customized, successful solutions to clients' direct marketing challenges. HintonHill's exceptional reputation and deep client list have been earned in large part due to its careful, constant focus on service, and its ability to successfully handle an extremely wide variety of direct marketing projects from inception to conclusion.

Hill and Hinton, who both will become Executive Vice Presidents at Direct Group, have more than 55 combined years of award-winning direct mail industry experience. Hill has received the U.S. Postal Service's Mailing Industry Leadership Award, as well as its Idea Forum award for innovation. Hinton has worked with more than 100 nonprofit organizations and scores of commercial entities. HintonHill has produced packages that have won a Best in Class Out of the Box award at the National Postal Forum, six DMA International ECHO awards, and more than 20 Direct Marketing Association of Washington MAXI awards for excellence.

"We are very excited about this transaction because it furthers our goal of building the industry's most comprehensive, client-centric direct marketing services platform offering highly integrated solutions to clients," said Don McKenzie, CEO of Direct Group. "HintonHill clients will benefit by having access to the production capacity, resources and buying power of one of the world's largest-volume, single-site commercial mailing facilities. Direct Group clients will benefit from access to the deep partner relationships HintonHill has developed, as well as new options to enhance their direct marketing programs."

"This pairing makes an incredible amount of sense for both of our client bases and companies," said Hill. "We are excited about the advantages Direct Group will offer our clients, and look forward to offering new opportunities to Direct Group's clients. Above all, we are very impressed with the 'client-satisfaction-is-primary' approach of Direct Group, which reflects our own approach to conducting business."

Direct Group is one of the nation's top providers of comprehensive direct marketing services, including prepress, print and personalization, lettershop, commingling and postal optimization, database management, telemarketing, response and fulfillment. It employs 1,100 people in three facilities that total 700,000 square feet of premium production space, and the company processes nearly 1.5 billion pieces of mail per year. Since 2004, Direct Group founder and Chairman Manny Ortiz and his senior management team have partnered with private equity firm SV Investment Partners to provide financial and strategic support to Direct Group's growth efforts.

"We are focused on strategically building our company in terms of what it offers our current and prospective customers," said Ortiz. "Our business arena continues to be increasingly competitive and demanding, and we believe that our ability to attract top-quality people and solutions for Direct Group enables us to remain a provider-of-choice in the direct marketing area."

Petsky Prunier, a New York-based investment bank that provides merger and acquisition and private placement advisory services, served as strategic advisor for the transaction.

About Direct Group

Direct Group provides a full suite of direct marketing services from prepress, print and personalization through lettershop, commingling and mail to telemarketing, response and fulfillment through long-term partnerships with world-class customers throughout the United States. The company's corporate offices and three operating facilities, which include one of the world's largest-volume, single-site commercial mailing operations, are in New Jersey. For more information about the company, visit www.directgroup.net.
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Publication:Business Wire
Date:Jan 8, 2007
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