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CDS Global Buys Optima

U.K.-based deal is part of a two-year growth strategy into Europe and Asia.

CDS Global, the Des Moines, Iowa-based subscription fulfillment provider, announced Monday that it has acquired Optima, a fulfillment group operated by Optima Data Intelligence Services Limited in the U.K.

The deal gives CDS, which is a division of the Hearst Corporation, 36 more publishers and 320 more titles—primarily in the b-to-b market. Optima clients include Incisive, Financial Times and Haymarket Media.

Strategically, Optima, which has about 70 employees, provides CDS a base to support further expansion into continental Europe, said CDS chairman and CEO Malcolm Netburn. "[The deal] now makes us the largest supporter of fulfillment for the b-to-b market in the U.K., along with our dominant consumer role."

Netburn [pictured] declined to reveal terms of the sale, but said Optima, which was working its way through bankruptcy, has revenues "just shy" of $4 million.

Optima will be folded into CDS Global's European operation headquartered in the U.K. and is part of a two-year growth plan that will include more acquisitions in Europe and Asia. "We're looking to double our company's revenue in the next couple of years," said Netburn. "We're aggressively looking at continental Europe and Asia. For example, we are also the largest service provider in Australia, and we'll use that to expand into the Asian market."

While the Optima deal gives CDS a b-to-b fulfillment base, the company's expansion plans include servicing both consumer and b-to-b. Netburn said the company's experience in the consumer realm has positioned it well for the trades, since those publishers are increasingly looking at paid subscription models. "As b-to-b is looking at paid models for content delivery—whether print or digital—we've got that capability."


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