WebSourced, an RTP-based firm focused on search engine and Internet marketing applications and technology, is expanding its efforts overseas.

The company is acquiring the assets of a search engine marketing and services firm in the United Kingdom known as Smart Interactive. The leader of that firm, who also is an author, will join WebSourced as part of the deal, the company said.

The acquisition is the latest in a series of deals announced by WebSourced’s parent company, CGI Holding Corporation.

Financial details of the transaction were not disclosed.

Mike Grehan, who wrote “Search Engine Marketing”, will lead WebSourced’s efforts in the UK and Europe. Grehan was voted one of the UK Internet industry’s Top 100 most influential people.

“Smart Interactive, led by Mike Grehan, is one of the most recognized and trusted names in the UK search marketing industry,” said Pat Martin, chief executive officer of WebSourced. “With Forrester Research predicting the European search marketing industry to grow by 65 percent in 2005 and reach 3 billion (Euros) by 2010, this is an important acquisition for WebSourced and one that will allow us to quickly expand our European client base.”

Grehan said WebSourced approached him about making a deal.

“WebSourced is the world’s largest search engine marketing company. They approached me with an attractive offer and demonstrated a genuine commitment to emulating the huge success they’ve had elsewhere, here in the UK and Europe,” Grehan said in a statement. “Having met the management and staff at WebSourced’s headquarters in North Carolina, I was very impressed with the operation. The use of superior proprietary technology at the back end and the professional human touch at the customer end simply endorses the reasons why they have become market leaders.”

WebSourced says it is the “world’s largest search engine marketing company” and has a client list of more than 1,400.

CGI Holding stock closed on Thursday at $4.89, up 13 cents.

WebSourced: www.websourced.com