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TargusInfo, a major direct marketing tools provider and the parent company of Localeze, a “Big 3” provider of business listings, will be acquired by NeuStar for $650 million in cash. The deal enhances NeuStar’s positioning as a leader in authentication services across the Internet and voice networks, whether fixed-line, cable or mobile. Authentication is expected to dramatically grow with the boom in digital services such as movie downloads. Both companies are based in Northern Virginia.

Localeze’s listings business is not the biggest factor in the acquisition, but the division’s focus on enhanced SMB and franchise profiles will likely fit into the mix. TargusInfo is perhaps best known in the direct marketing world for its lead gen scoring techniques, which evaluate the likelihood that a lead will turn into a sale. TargusInfo is also well known for its Caller ID verification service, among other real time, on demand information and analytics services. It helps process more than 100 billion annual transactions around the world.

TargusInfo posted $149 million in revenues for the year ended Sept. 30. Combined, the two companies earned $732 million.

“The people who know both of us understand that billions of times every day Neustar and TARGUSinfo flawlessly help people find each other, connect to one another and share.,” notes Neustar CEO Lisa Hook in a blog post. “By combining TARGUSinfo’s leadership in Caller ID and online information services, such as lead verification and scoring, with Neustar’s strengths in network information services, including address inventory management, network security, and marketing analytics, we will be able to greatly extend Neustar’s ability to provide its customers services based on unique, non-replicable datasets.”

Localeze President Jeff Beard told us that “at the end of the day, it is all about providing real-time intelligence about identity. The vast majority of that is consumer identity,” he says. Beard adds that Neustar’s interest in TargusInfo is on several levels, including local search. Major tech companies such as IBM, Intel and others are all getting more involved in local search as part of their broader activity, he notes.

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